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PBL 2018-19 Final: Kidambi Srikanth led Bengaluru Raptors claim their maiden title

Indonesian doubles pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan played a key role in taking the Bengaluru Raptors to a 4-3 victory over the North Eastern Warriors in the Final

bengaluru raptors pbl 2018-19 final
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The Key Battles in the Finals

Pia Zebadiah Bernadet /Kim Gi Jung v/s Lauren Smith / Marcus Ellis 

Both the teams were guilty of making unforced errors but the English pair of Marcus and Lauren particularly severe in this area. A handful of smashes from Kim and a few inspired rally-winning shots from Pia Bernadet helped them emerge the winner in the opening clash.

In the opening match, Pia Zebadiah Bernadet of Indonesia and Kim Gi-Jung of South Korea beat the English pair of Lauren Smith and Marcus Ellis pipped Raptors 15-8, 15-14 to set the tone for an exciting final

Srikanth v/s Anders Antonsen

The 25-year-old Indian took apart the Dane, who struggled to even make contact with Srikanth’s searing smashes. If the point went to a rally, Kidambi was adept with changing course at will to tap in a winner or play a clever drop. To make matters worse, Antonsen seemed callous with his approach to the net. Antonsen’s attempt at a tap, a scoop or a net smash often caught the net, costing him valuable points against the Indian who was already looking quite imperious with his game.

In the end, it was a straight-games (15-7, 15-10 ) victory over Anders Antonsen.

Vu Thi Trang v/s Shriyanshi Pardeshi

In the Raptors trump match, Vu Thi Trang used her experience and easily overcame Shriyansi Pardeshi.

Shriyanshi tried keeping pace with the Vietnamese until the mid-break in both the games, but her inexperience showed as she failed to put away easy winners and sustain her game in the second half. Trang capitalized and won easily (15-7, 15-9).

Sameer Verma v/s Sai Praneeth

Sai Praneeth won the first game with an array of brilliant strokes to take the first game 15-7. Bengaluru could almost taste title victory. But all it took was a couple of good points from Sameer in the second game for Sai Praneeth to begin doubting his skills. Errors began piling and Sameer Verma, a solid defensive player, began dictating terms. After a close 12-15 loss in the second game, Sai Praneeth collapsed spectacularly and losing to Sameer (7-15, 15-12, 15-3) and push the tie to the decider.

Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan v/s Lee Yong Dae / Kim Gi Jung

The first game turned out to be highly competitive but the Indonesians held their nerves to eke out the tight game. In the second game, the Raptors pair trailed 9-10 before winning five of the next six points to grab the win.

Final scoreline – the Raptors pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan beat the Warriors’ Lee Yong Dae / Kim Gi Jung 15-13, 15-10.

Bengaluru Raptors win 4-3 against North Eastern Warriors to win PBL 2018-19 Final

Originally published in The Hindu Sportstar

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