PBL 2017-18: MATCH REPORT -- Praneeth & Marin lead Hyderabad Hunters to the finals, beat Delhi 3-0

SAI PRANEETH AND CAROLINA MARIN lead their team Hyderabad Hunters to a 3-0 win over Delhi Dashers to seal a spot in their first ever finals of the Premier Badminton League.

It was a desired start to for the Delhi Dashers as the mixed doubles duo of Ashwini Ponnappa/Vladimir Ivanov repeated their feat against Satwiksairaj/Pia Zebadiah. The Dashers pair won the match in a hard-fought three game battle 13-15, 15-10, 15-10. Ashwini/Ivanov showed great fighting spirit to get back up from losing the opening game. It was rather easy for the Dashers' pair in the two games that they won.

Men's singles shuttler Tian Houwei had a chance to further his team's lead as he was playing the trump match against Sai Praneeth. In the league stage when these two met, Tian won that battle but this time things went in favour of Praneeth. It was a straight game victory for the Indian 15-9, 15-8 to cancel out the trump and put his team Hyderabad in the lead.

This was followed by another trump match, this time it was Hyderabad's turn where their captain Carolina Marin was up against Sung Ji Hyun. While these two met in the league stage, the Spaniard showed her best side on court with a win and the same was expected from her tonight. In an all important match, both the shuttlers were under pressure as a win for the home side would seal the deal while it was a must win for Delhi.

The Korean won the opening game to further put Marin under pressure but the latter came back stronger to win the second 15-10 and push the match to a decider. She displayed a champion's performance as she won the final game 15-9, bettering the score to seal the tie for her team.

Finally a 3-0 victory and a sweet revenge for Hyderabad Hunters to qualify for their first ever PBL finals.

The second semi-final will be held tomorrow (13th December) between Ahmedabad Smash Masters and Bengaluru Blasters.

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