Hyderabad Hunters thrashed Bengaluru Blasters 5-0 in the final group game of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad.
Playing their last league match in front of their home crowd, Hyderabad claimed six points to swell their tally to 20 points. They will next face Delhi Dashers in the semi-final. They have emerged as strong contenders for the league honours.
Ahmedabad Smash Masters are in second spot with 17 points, followed by Delhi Dashers on 15 points. Bengaluru slipped to the fourth spot with 14 points. Bengaluru Blasters face Ahmedabad Smash Masters in the second semifinal on Saturday.
Hyderabad's mixed doubles pair and men's singles players Sai Praneeth and Lee Hyun II were stretched to three games before winning their respective matches. Marin, however, faced no such difficulty as she get past Kirsty Gilmour 15-9, 15-7 in the women's singles.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Pia Zebadiah Bernadet sarted off well against the Bengaluru duo of Manu Attiri and Sikki Reddy by winning the first game 15-6. But the Reddys fought back to level the scores 14-15. In the decider, the Hyderabad duo took charge, supported by a vociferous crowd, and won 15-9 to help Hyderabad gain their first point.
Bengaluru's Subhanker Dey almost threw up a scare in Hyderabad's Trump match. But Korean Lee Hyun squeezed a tight 15-11, 11-15, 15-11 win to extend Hyderabad's surge.
There was more disappointment for Bengaluru as they lost their Trump match as well with their men's doubles duo of Boe Mathias and Kim Sa Rang going down to Markis
Kido (T) and Yoo Yeon Seong 10-15, 15-11, 7-15. The defeat meant they got a negative point and reduced their points tally to 14.