Table toppers Hyderabad Hunters will take on Bengaluru Blasters at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad as the two teams eye ultimate prize in Premier Badminton League (PBL) season three.
Reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin-led Hyderabad headed into the final after crushing Delhi Dashers 3-0 in their semi-final outing on Friday, January 12. The Spaniard led from the front, beating Sung Ji Hyun in three games in the home team's Trump Match after Sai Praneeth and mixed doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Pia Bernadeth won their rubbers.
The Hunters, who will have the backing of the home crowd, will take confidence from the way they demolished the Blasters when the two teams met in the group stages. In Viktor Axelsen's absence, the Bengaluru-based franchise did not even win a single rubber and thereby lost the tie 6-(-1).
The Blasters though will be hopeful of a better show, especially after their win over favourites Ahmedabad Smash Masters in the semi-final on Saturday, January 13.
The tie went down to the wire before the Blasters' mixed doubles pair of Sikki Reddy and Kim Sa Rang won the decisive rubber to help the team into the title match.
Axelsen clinched an important win for the team against Smash Masters' HS Prannoy after his teammate Kirsty Gilmour was blown away by world number one Tai Tzu Ying. The reigning world champion held his composure even as Prannoy tried to make a late comeback in the second game.
The onus to deliver will once again be on Axelsen as he is likely to take on Hunters' star Praneeth. The Blasters will also have to decide between Subhankar Dey and Chong Wei Feng for the second men's singles rubber of the evening.
While Marin will hold the key for the Hunters, the men's doubles pairing of Markis Kido and Yoo Yeon Seong will have their job cut out against the Blasters' pair of Mathias Boe and Kim Sa Rang, who have been in fine form in the ongoing tournament.
When does the match start and how to watch it live
The PBL 3 final between Hunters and Blasters will start at 7pm IST/1:30pm GMT.
TV Channel: Star Sports 1/HD1; Live streaming: Hotstar
Hyderabad Hunters: Carolina Marin (WS), Sai Praneeth (MS1), Lee Hyun Il (MS2), Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Pia Zabadeth (XD), Markis Kido/Yoo Yeon Seong (MD).
Bengaluru Blasters: Kirsty Gilmour (WS), Viktor Axelsen (MS1), Chong Wei Feng (MS2), Sikki Reddy/Kim Sa Rang (XD), Mathias Boe/Kim (MD).