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Table-toppers Hyderabad set up semi-final clash with Delhi

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 12-01-2018 HT Correspondent

Table-toppers Hyderabad set up semi-final clash with Delhi © Hindustan Times Table-toppers Hyderabad set up semi-final clash with Delhi HYDERABAD, Jan. 12 -- Hyderabad Hunters backed by sterling displays from B Sai Praneeth and Carolina Marin claimed the top spot in the Premier Badminton League here on Thursday.

Playing their last league match in front of vociferous home fans, Hyderabad downed Bengaluru Blasters 5-0 and claimed six points to swell their tally to 20 points. 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.

With the battle for the title commencing on Friday, Hyderabad have emerged as strong contenders for the league honours. They will clash with Delhi Dashers in the first semi-final while Bengaluru face Ahmedabad Smash Masters in the second semi-final on Saturday.

It was no easy going for Hyderabad on Thursday start as their mixed doubles pair and men's singles players Sai Praneeth and Lee Hyun Il 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. Sai Praneeth faced a tougher opponent in Chong Wei Feng, who made the World No16 sweat for every point before winning 10-15, 15-7, 15-14.

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