PBL Season 2: Bengaluru Blasters look for turnaround

The Asian Age.

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With Olympic champion Carolina Marin in the opposite ranks, the home team will have their task cut out.

Carolina Marin

Bengaluru: Having encountered a rocky start in the Premier Badminton League-2, the Bengaluru Blasters will look for a change of fortunes on home turf.

With one win from two matches, the Blasters will come up against Hyderabad Hunters in their opening home match at the Koramangala Stadium, on Saturday.

Blasters, who edged past bottom-placed Delhi Acers in their opening match of the season, fell miserably in their next contest, crashing to a 0-5 defeat at the hands of Chennai Smashers.

With Olympic champion Carolina Marin in the opposite ranks, the home team will have their task cut out. Though Hyderabad kicked off with a strong win against Chennai, they face the Blasters with just one win from three encounters.

The Blasters, will be looking to world no. 3 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark to provide the impetus while Ruthvika Shivani or Cheung Ngan Yi of Hong Kong will need to step up to the plate.

Home hopes also rest on local girl Ashwini Ponnappa and her partner Sikki Reddy as Bengaluru seek a turnaround.

Looking to get the best out of the three games at home, Blasters’ coach Arvind Bhat is optimistic of a good show in front of the home crowd.

“The good thing is we have been in a position to win. I am confident we are going to win. Last match we had two match points and if we had pulled off those two points, we would have been leading the table. So we are going ahead with that in our minds,” said Bhat.

“We still have three more matches to go. We should be able to get into the semis. Hyderabad, of course, the ladies singles will be tough, otherwise we definitely have a chance.”

Mumbai take 2-0 lead
Mumbai Rockets’ Ajay Jayaram made a great comeback to beat Kidambi Srikanth of Awadhe Warriors 5-11, 15-14, 11-5 in Lucknow to help his team take a 2-0 lead.

Earlier, Lee Yong Dae and Nipitphon Puangpuapech of Rockets edged past Markis Kido and V. Shem Goh of Warriors 11-7, 11-3, 13-11.