Sai Praneeth scores asRaptors enter semis

B Sai Praneeth.

Bengaluru Raptors marched into the semifinals of the Premier Badminton League Season 4 after defeating fellow contenders Chennai Smashers 3-2 here on Thursday.

Needing just a point to confirm their last-four ticket, the Raptors secured it as early as in the second tie when B Sai Praneeth defeated an out of sorts Parupalli Kashyap 15-11, 15-12 in the latter’s Trump game at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

The Raptors, with 21 points, finished third and will take on toppers Awadhe Warriors (25) in the first semifinal on Friday. Hyderabad Hunters (24) and Mumbai Rockets (19) clash in the second semis on Saturday.

Praneeth really didn’t have to sweat too hard against Kashyap, who clearly looked below his best. With Kashyap struggling for control and committing several unforced errors, Praneeth knew he just had to keep his game simple. Praneeth did exactly that as he wrapped the opening game without much of a hassle.

Kashyap then tried to attack more in the second game but with most of his shots going off target, Praneeth galloped to a healthy lead in the second. Taking things a tad lightly, Praneeth then switched off for a brief moment and Kashyap staged a mini comeback.

But Praneeth quickly woke up from the slumber, firing a few power-packed smashes to regain control of the game. He then went on to script a comfortable win — his fifth in six games — before clenching his fists in delight.

Raptors’ star player and captain Kidambi Srikanth oozed class and confidence for a sixth straight match as he hammered Feng Chong 15-10, 15-10 in his singles.

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Sai Praneeth scores asRaptors enter semis

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