Badminton

PBL: Sai Praneeth, Carolina Marin take Hyderabad Hunters to top of the standings

Hunters will face Delhi Smashers while Bengaluru Blasters will take on Ahmedabad Smash Masters in the semi-finals.

Bengaluru Blasters rested world champion Viktor Axelsen for the final league match to decide who tops the Premier Badminton League standings going into the knock-out stage. And Hyderabad Hunters pounced on the opportunity to hammer them 6-(-1) on home turf on Thursday.

The result had a bearing on the semi-final line up despite both teams having already qualified for the knock-out stage even before the start of play on Thursday. The Hunters will now face fourth placed Delhi Smashers in the first semifinal on Friday while the Blasters meet Ahmedabad Smash Masters on Saturday.

And the hosts would be on a high after a dominating performance against the Blasters. They were given a winning start by Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Pia Zebadiah, who beat the all-Indian combination of Manu Atri and N Sikky Reddy 15-6, 14-15, 15-9. It was important for Blasters Chong Wei Feng to pull things back against Singapore open champion Sai Praneeth to keep his team in the hunt.

The Malaysian began well by winning the opening game with relative ease but Praneeth found his rhythm in the second to force a decider. The final game was a topsy-turvey affair with Chong Wei fighting back in the later stages to level scores at 14-14. However, the 25-year-old Indian managed to keep his nerves to clinch the match 10-15, 15-7, 15-14.

Olympic champion Carolina Marin then almost put the result of the tie beyond doubt when she hammered Kristy Gilmour 15-9, 15-7 and left Blasters an unenviable task of beating Hunters trump and winning the remaining two matches.

Shubhakar Dey, who replaced Axelsen in the line-up, did put up a fight as he threw himself around the court to keep the shuttle in play every time he was caught wrong footed by the experienced Lee Hyun Il. But he ultimately fell short, losing 15-11, 11-15, 15-11 to end his team’s chances of finishing among the top two.

And Blasters’ misery was further compounded when Mathias Boe and Kim Sa Rang lost their trump match 15-10, 11-15, 15-7 against Markis Kido and Yoo Yeon Seong to go without a single win on the night.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

The defining spirit of the Irish

A bit of banter, a bit of cheer and lots of craic.

They say that if you’re lucky enough to be Irish, then you’re lucky enough. The Irish are famous for their cultural symbols recognised and celebrated across the world. But apart from their proverbial luck, the colour green and St. Patrick’s Day, it’s a zest for life that truly defines the Irish.

Don’t be alarmed if you hear the Irish talking about “crack”. Craic, pronounced ‘Krak’, is a popular Irish expression that can’t be defined but can only be experienced. “What’s the craic” could mean many things. It’s used break the ice with a stranger, to catch up with a friend or even to say - “let’s have some fun.”

The Irish are known for their warmth and friendliness. So much so that during the Euro 2016, Irish football fans were charming their way through a rival country, making friends wherever they went and spreading joy through various good deeds. Being Irish is about celebrating life and to be a part of the festivity, all you need to do is visit an Irish pub. Always buzzing with music, stories and laughter, the pub is a great place to experience the essence of Irish culture.

While the history of Ireland made its people tenacious, they’ve also embraced the light-hearted side of life. This combination of courage and a sense of humour can be observed in everything they do. “It’ll be grand, sure!”, is an Irish saying that captures this spirit – take a shot, give it a go, whatever happens, life will be great.

The Irish have a knack for sharing and creating stories; and it is said that Irish stories are always long and never dull. It’s not surprising then that stories like the legend of Halloween, which originated in Ireland, are not only known but celebrated all over the world. In an Irish pub, you’ll invariably find yourself immersed in a tale, with every other person adding a twist to the story. Don’t be surprised if what you assumed to be fiction turns out to be true, as seen in this video.

Play

From thrilling tales of Irish lads that travel from pub to pub, to the making music with anything and everything at your disposal, being Irish means being up for anything. The Irish way is incomplete without their brand of music that reverberates through family dinners, pub sessions, the streets…wherever you can pull up a stool. What gives a Trad Session in a traditional Irish pub its distinctive flavour is that there is no stage separating musicians from the listeners and anyone is welcome to join in. Jameson, a brand that has bottled the Irish spirit, has captured moments of pure Irish-ness in these short videos.

Play

Distilled in Ireland, Jameson is an integral part of the Irish social experience. In its company, one can truly sense the camaraderie of a group of lads having a night out. Whether you are in a pub or in the depths of a forest, if you’re in the company of lads, rest assured, you’re in for some adventure and a lot of craic.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Jameson and not by the Scroll editorial team.