Bengaluru, Jan 13: Chennai Smashers qualified for the semi-finals after beating Bangalore Top Guns 3-2 in the last league match of the Premier Badminton League 2016 (PBL) at Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, here today.
In a rather smart move, Chennai opted for the trump match in their very first game of the tie and won it to make life difficult for the hosts.
Bangalore Top Guns then had to win all their matches to gain five points, excluding the bonus point to sail through the knockout stage. Chennai's Sony Dwi Kuncoro dashed all the hopes of the hosts after he defeated Sameer Verma in a riveting encounter. Kuncoro won the match 15-10, 10-15, 15-8.
After Kuncoro's triumph, there was no much interest left for the Bangalore side, but played to the delight of the fans by clinching the men's doubles match 15-7, 15-8.
The Bangalore pair of Hoon Thien How and JF Nielse beat Chris Adcoack and Pranaav Chopra. Srikanth Kidambi then got Bangalore race past Chennai with a 2-1 lead when he overwhelmed his rival Brice Leverdez 15-4, 15-12. The Indian star was too hot for the French shuttler.
For the keepsake, the match between Suo Di and P V Sindhu generated lot of interest among the fans, especially for the Chinese youngster who had been the star performer for Bangalore this season.
She had been in the news for having won three matches out of four. However, the Indian star outplayed Di 15-12, 15-7 in straight games.
Later, Chennai pair of Chris Adcock and Pia Zebadiah prevailed over Ashwini Ponnappa and Joaquim Fisher Nilesen in the mixed doubles tie 15-14, 15-12, thus clinching the tie 3-2.