PBL 2018: Doubles specialist Kim Sa Rang propels Bengaluru Blasters past Ahmedabad Smash Masters into final

South Korean doubles specialist Kim Sa Rang did the star turn for Bengaluru Blasters, delivering three points for his team, including the vital trump, in the Blasters’ pulsating, comeback 4-3 semi-final triumph over Premier Badminton League debutants, Ahmedabad Smash Masters, on Saturday.

Taking on the onerous responsibility of playing the trump match for Bengaluru in the company of wily Danish veteran Mathias Boe, Kim also rounded off a memorable evening for his team by combining with Andhra left-hander N Sikki Reddy in the fifth and final match of the tie, to break the 3-3 deadlock that had resulted at the end of his captain Viktor Axelsen’s singles win over Ahmedabad’s HS Prannoy.

Bengaluru could actually have romped into the final two matches earlier, when Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour produced the performance of a lifetime in doing everything but lower the colours of Chinese Taipei’s World No 1, Tai Tzu Ying, in what was expectedly the trump match for the Ahmedabad side.

The Scottish World No 16, who has been runner-up over the past two years to Spaniard Carolina Marin in the European Championships, barreled through the opening game at 15-8, and stood tantalisingly within reach of the finishing post, at 12-8 in the second game. Sadly, the 24-year-old Bengaluru player froze up, even as the scent of victory wafted through her nostrils, and let the Taiwanese ace unravel the sl...

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