Hyderabad: Despite winning 3-2, the Banga Beats ended sixth and last in the Indian Badminton League (IBL) points standings as Hyderabad Hotshots, with their two points, topped the table.
The Hotshots are the table toppers with 17 points and will play third placed Pune Pistons, on 16 points, in the first semifinal here at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium on Wednesday while the second placed Awadhe Warriors will take on fourth placed Mumbai Masters in the second semifinal in Bangalore on Thursday.
The Beats, already out of semifinal contention, ended the tournament on a high and got confidence from their victory over table toppers Hotshots here on Tuesday.
Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of the Hotshots gave his team a 1-0 lead by beating Beats icon player Parupalli Kashyap 21-20, 21-18 in a close men's singles tie.
Tanongsak, later declared the player of the tie, said: "It's always great to play against Kashyap. The last smash was something which I would always like to remember and also I would like to thank the crowd which has been very supportive." (Day 12, as it happened)
In the women's singles, Saina Nehwal is still undefeated in the tournament, winning her fifth women's singles match by beating Ying Tai Tzu 21-17, 14-21, 11-8 to put the home side 2-0 up.
"One side of the court was faster which was a bit of problem. Looking at the crowd in my hometown, I was a bit under pressure. In the third game, I fought hard and kept my cool. I am very excited to play the semifinals and I am sure my team will give their best," said the Hotshots icon player.
However, the visitors pulled out a remarkable comeback by winning the next three matches to seal the tie in their favour.
In the men's doubles match, Carsten Mogensen and Akshay Dewalkar of the Beats won against V. Shem Goh and Wah Lim Khim 15-21, 21-15, 11-1 to close the scoreline to 1-2.
Jan Jorgensen of the Beats won his first IBL match against Ajay Jayaram of the Hotshots. The Danish World No.9 won the second men's singles rubber 21-11, 21-8 to level the score to 2-all.
"I am happy for my game but a bit disappointed with Ajay, who didn't play his best game since he has to play the semifinals tomorrow. I kept on expecting him to give a good fight but the game went smooth. My overall experience of playing in IBL has been amazing and I would like to come back again next year to play for the Banga Beats," said Jorgensen.
In the deciding mixed doubles tie, Tarun Kona and Pradnya Gadre of the Hotshots gave a good fight to Carsten Mogensen and Aparna Balan but the latter pair proved too good and won the match for the Beats. Mogensen and Aparna won 18-21, 21-16, 11-9.
Results: Tanonsak (Hotshots) beat Parupalli Kashyap (Beats) 21-20, 21-18; Saina Nehwal (Hotshots) beat Ying Tai Tzu (Beats) 21-17, 14-21, 11-8; Carsten Mogensen/Akshay Dewalkar (Beats) beat V. Shem Goh and Wah Lim Khim (Hotshots) 15-21, 21-15, 11-1; Jan O Jorgensen (Beats) beat Ajay Jayaram (Hotshots) 21-11, 21-8; Carsten Mogensen/Aparna Balan (Beats) beat Tarun Kona/Pradnya Gadre (Hotshots) 18-21, 21-16, 11-9.