Smashers down Rockets 4-3, clinch title in a humdinger
- January 14, 2017
- PBL Media Team
The final match of Vodafone PBL 2017 took place between Chennai Smashers and Mumbai Rockets in Delhi and provided a fitting end to an exciting two-week tournament.Match 1: Gabrielle Adcock/Chris Adcock (CHE) vs Nipithphon P/Nadiezda Zieba (MUM)
Chennai Smashers decided to opt for Trump in the very first match fielding the Adocks against Mumbai Rockets’ Nadiezda Zieba and Nipithphon P. Both pairs fought hard for every point as the Adcocks took a slender 6-5 lead into the break. None of them could stretch their lead by more than two points. Trailing 8-9, the Adcocks, especially Chris, pulled off some great shots out of the bag, with the deceptive drop shot to win the game being the standout. It was advantage Chennai as they took the first game 11-9.
Zieba and Nipithphon came out with greater determination in the second game to lead 6-4 halfway into the second game. Chris and Gabriel came back with a vengeance after the break as the husband-wife pair moved swiftly and came up with some precise shots to simply blow away the Rockets’ pair to wheel off seven points in a row to clinch the second game 11-6. Chennai were off to the start they desired, piling early pressure on Mumbai.Result: Gabrielle Adcock/Chris Adcock (CHE) beat Nipithphon P/Nadiezda Zieba (MUM) 11-9. 11-6
Match 2: PV Sindhu (CHE) vs Sung Ji-Hyun (MUM)
The second match saw the big clash in the women’s singles with PV Sindhu taking on Sung Ji-Hyun. Sindhu held a favourable record against the Korean, beating her comfortably in the group stages. It was going to be Sindhu’s aggression against Hyun’s discipline. The match began with a thrilling 29-shot rally to get the fans going which was won by Sindhu. The Indian edged the first game 6-4 going into the break. Hyun fought hard, winning a high-quality 44-shot rally to hit back 6-7 and then equalise on the next point. But, Sindhu was spurred to do even better as her power game got the better of Hyun’s attrition-style of play in the first game, winning 11-8.
The second game saw the quality of badminton going further up with some amazing shots played by both players. Sindhu led at the interval, even if it was by only a 6-5 margin. She stepped on the gas afterwards to speed away to 10-6. Hyun fought back to save a couple of match points but the gap proved too much to close. Chennai had the initiative with an imposing 3-0 lead in the crunch tie.Result: PV Sindhu (CHE) beat Sung Ji-Hyun (MUM) 11-8, 11-8
Match 3: Chris Adcock/Mads Kolding (CHE) vs Lee Yong Dae/Nipithphon P (MUM)
The third match was a Trump match called by the Rockets and was the first of three must-win clashes for them. The Mumbai duo had walloped the Chennai pair in the group stages but the latter were on a high after their stunning performance in the semi-finals. Dae and Nipithphon raced to 2-0 lead with some clever deception until a devastating 425 km/hr smash from the gigantic Kolding. The Rockets carried a slender lead into the interval at 6-5 showcasing how evenly-fought the contest was. It was an engrossing, fast-paced battle throughout as Dae and Nipithphon nicked the first game 12-10 to give the Rockets hope.
Mumbai’s Korean-Thai pair looked more confident in the second game, getting back to their dominant selves to quickly move into a 6-2 lead at the break. Dae, the former world number one doubles player, had a vital influence on the proceedings as he and Nipithphon seized the second game 11-6 to bring Mumbai right back into the tie with two crucial points.Result: Lee Yong Dae/Nipithphon P (MUM) beat Chris Adcock/Mads Kolding (CHE) 12-10, 11-6
Match 4: Parupalli Kashyap (CHE) vs HS Prannoy (MUM)
The first men’s singles match of the evening saw the experienced campaigner Parupalli Kashyap of Chennai taking on red-hot Mumbai man HS Prannoy. The Kerala-born Prannoy showed exactly why he has been unbeaten in PBL Season 2 so far as he blitzed Kashyap to take a 6-1 lead midway into the first game. He continued in the same unstoppable manner after the break to pulverize his more experienced opponent to seize the first game 11-4.
Ever the fighter, Kashyap was pumped up for the second game as he fought back gallantly. He took a 6-3 lead into the break after winning a spectacular point after looking down-and-out in the rally. A resurgent Kashyap then came roaring back to clinch the second game 11-8 and send the match into a decider. Both players were more charged-up than ever as they gave it their all. Kashyap seemed to have hurt his shoulder while diving to retrieve a drop shot which looked to have affected his game. Prannoy moved to a 7-3 lead only to see the spirited Kashyap get back to within a point. Another sensational rally followed, another bit of outrageous retrieving from Kashyap, but Prannoy moved to a 9-6 lead. He held on to win the game 11-8, bringing an end to this highly explosive encounter, a match fit for the occasion along with extending his streak to an outstanding 7-0 in Season 2.Result: HS Prannoy (MUM) beat Parupalli Kashyap (CHE) 11-4, 8-11, 11-8
Match 5: Tanongsak S (CHE) vs Ajay Jayaram (MUM)
With the tie evenly poised at 3-3, the final match of the evening had all the makings of a cliff-hanger. It was an even contest but it was Jayaram who led 6-4 to take a slender advantage into the break. The Mumbai-lad kept his ahead in a close game and took the game with a well-placed smash at 11-9 to keep the momentum going for his side.
Tanongsak, who holds the edge in head-to-head meetings between the two, wrested the initiative in the second game as he led 6-3 at the halfway mark. Jayaram made several errors as Tanongsak hit back in the match to win the second game 11-7. The Thai star built on the momentum gained as Jayaram wilted under pressure. Tanongsak induced yet another error from Jayaram to prize away the decider 11-3 and hand the PBL crown to the Chennai Smashers. Mumbai Rockets were unlucky for a second consecutive year, falling at the final hurdle yet again.Result: Tanongsak S (CHE) beat Ajay Jayaram (MUM) 9-11, 11-7, 11-3
Final Result: Chennai Smashers beat Mumbai Rockets 4-3
- Smashers down Rockets 4-3, clinch title in a humdinger January 14, 2017
- Sung, Prannoy power Rockets into final in emphatic fashion January 13, 2017
- Smashers ‘Trump’ Warriors to enter final January 13, 2017
- Hunters defeat Acers 5-2 to set up semi-final clash with Rockets January 12, 2017
- Smashers pip Warriors 4-3 in penultimate tie of league stage January 11, 2017