Aug 30, 2013

I write for IBL #7 - The countdown for the finale!

Besides being happy about IBL reaching its final stage, I'm exhilarated about the same two teams reaching the finals of the inaugural league, whom I picked as favorites for the final two couple of days back. It's all set for the final between the Awadhe Warriors and Hyderabad Hotshots at Mumbai. Now, it's just the countdown!

The one-sider semi final-I ...
The first semi final between HH and PP seemed to me as if it's the only one-sider tie of the whole league. Hotshots proved not just too hot but also too uplifted in spirits for the Pune Pistons. Ajay Jayram played one of the most memorable match amidst the encouraging home-crowd. As he was going through the game of his strong opponent, future for Indian badminton felt very exciting. Saina Nehwal once again proved too tough for Schenk to get through. What interested me the most was her never-die attitude and pressure handling capability. You play on your home soil, in front of your home crowd, amidst the shouts of your name by the audience, your opponent comes back from steep difference, and you still continue to captivate on your own concentration and game plan! That's not everyone's cup of tea. Saina did capitalized on her lead and came out with flying colors at the end to win the match and also the lead in the tie. Men's doubles appears as if  the PP would extend the tie to the fourth game but unfortunately not. Three match to love ensured the cancellation of the rest of the game including the much awaited one between Ashwini and Saina in the mixed doubles. It would have been interesting, definitely. 

Semi final-II, impressive one...
As the first semi final could not impress much, the second semi final between AW and MM entertained throughout. Lee won the first game to take Mumbai to a match lead. Such soon surrendering was not expected from Sai Dutt.  But soon India's latest teenage sensation, Sindhu, brought it down to one-one. Sindhu's confidence level and shot/placement selection was beautiful. She executed the game plan as easily as if she was drawing something on paper. Full control and deception were the key factors behind her win. Well, Tine Baun got hurt with hamstring but still, Sindhu's game convinced me to say that she could have done the same even if Tine was in her best of the best forms.  Sreekanth once again almost did it for his team but Ivanon played superbly to win it away. Mixed double choice of MM surprised me. Ivanon just played the singles and immediately he had to be back on court with his injured partner Tine Baun. It was Markis Kido and his sister's deception that won the match and eventually the tie for AW. It's very nice to see this brother-sister partnership on the court. 

The Finale...
After the first league match between Saina and Sindhu, many fans would have thought, why there was no second league match like IPL and only one league matc between two teams? The road to finale for HH and AW was not straight but as they are going to play it one last time in the IBL for the beautiful cup glittering in gold, there is a tough road ahead for both of them. HH have been stronger team and AW have a deserving side to them to reach the finals. 

So, that's all before the finale. One last thing to share, I'll support Awadhe Warriors tomorrow, not just for Sindhu but as well for Markis Kido. To me, warriors appear stronger as a team. Hotshots of course are fighters lead by their iconic player Saina, who is known for her stronger fight-backs. All in all, it will be an interesting tie, for one last time for this season of IBL. 

All the best, may the best play entertain us! 

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