Prannoy, Praneeth take ONGC into final of PSPB badminton tourney

Star-studded ONGC, with HS Prannoy and Sai Praneeth in their ranks, began their title defence for the Men’s Team Championships with a dominating performance, blanking their respective rivals to storm into the finals of the XXXIX PSPB Inter-Unit Badminton Tournament here on Tuesday.
Other leading players of the country taking part in the tournament include Sourabh Varma, Chirag Shetty, Ashwini Ponnappa, V Diju, R M V Gurusaidutt, Ajay Jayaram, Sameer Verma and Rituparna Das .
In the quarter-finals, ONGC thrashed hosts Engineers India Ltd. 3-0 and then overpowered OIL by identical an 3-0 margin in the semi-finals.
The semi-finals were, however, closely contested, even though the score of 3-0 does not reflect the intensity of the matches.
In the first match, Prannoy beat Orijit Chaliha (OIL) 21-12, 21-17. In the second singles, young Swaranraj Borah from OIL impressed with his talent against the experienced B Sai Praneeth but lost, after putting up a good fight, 11-21, 23-25.
The 21-year-old was again part of another good contest when he partnered Hirak Jyoti Neog 10 minutes after his singles match but they lost in another thrilling three-setter to the pair of Pranaav J Chopra and Tarun Kona, 10-21, 21-16, 9-21.
ONGC  will play Indian Oil in the finals scheduled to be played on Wednesday.
In the women’s team championship, ONGC defeated MRPL 2-0 to make it to the finals where they will face off against the experienced IOCL team who defeated EIL 2-0 in their semi-finals.
Wednesday will also witness the start of the individual competitions where defending champions Rituparna Das and Sourabh Verma ( ONGC) will be endeavoring to retain their titles.
Earlier in the day, the 39th edition of the prestigious tournament was inaugurated by Mr. J C Nakra, Chairman & Managing Director, Engineers India Ltd. in the presence of dignitaries who included Mr. V C Bhandari (Director HR), Mr. Sunil Bhatia (Director Finance), Mr. Ashok Kalra (ED, HR), Mr. S. Haldar (Member Secretary, PSPB). 

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