Marin sparkles as Hyderabad enter final

Marin sparkles as Hyderabad enter final

Marin sparkles as Hyderabad enter final

Former world champion Carolina Marin came back from a game down to steer Hyderabad Hunters into the final of the third Premier Badminton League, here on Friday.

Marin, cheered on by a vociferous home crowd, overcame a fighting Sun Ji Hyun 13-15, 15-10, 15-9 to kill the hopes of Delhi Dashers in a gripping semifinal. She picked up two points for her win as her team's Trump player.

Earlier, another local hero B Sai Praneeth set up the victory by beating Dashers' Trump player Tian Houwei. The Hyderabadi was on song, rattling the Chinese World No 22 with a flurry of down the line smashes.

He raced away to a 15-9, 15-8 victory to get the crowds on their feet. The Hunters shot into a 1-0 lead on points, as the Dashers lost the point that they had won while also yielding a point.

The Hunters though had a wobbly start, with the Hyderabad duo of Pia Zebadiah Bernadet and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy capitulating in the opening clash. They lost to Ashwini Ponappa and Vladimir Ivanov 15-13, 10-15, 10-15 to silence the crowds.

Ashwini and the tall Russian lost the first game but came back strongly in the next two. India's doubles specialist Ashwini was in her elements as she ensured Delhi's comeback with her decisive returns. They took charge soon to wrap up the next two games 15-10, 15-10.

PBL debutants Ahmedabad will be keen to extend their superb run when they take on Bengaluru Blasters in the second semifinal here on Saturday.

Having logged 17 points, Ahmedabad finished second in the league standings while Bengaluru were fourth with 14 points in their kitty.

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