Indian girls team makes semifinals of World junior squash

July 29th, 2011 - 2:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Boston (USA), July 29 (IANS) Indian girls pulled off a stunning 2-0 win against England to enter the semifinals of the World junior team squash championship here Thursday.

India next take on hosts United States, who edged out New Zealand 2-1, while Egypt, the 3-0 winners against Wales, face Hong Kong who got past Malaysia 2-1.

The day started off with a tense battle between third and fourth seeds India and England, and although the English had their chances, it was India who won 2-0 with Anaka Alankamony defeating Emily Whitlock 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9 (39 minutes) and Aparajitha Balamurukan scraping through 7-11, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-4 (44 minutes) against Victoria Temple-Murray.

India took the lead as Asian junior champion Anaka Alankamony beat her European counterpart and Individual semi-finalist Emily Whitlock.

Anaka seemed to have the answer to everything Whitlock could throw at her, and essentially outplayed her for two and a half games to lead 6-2 in the third.

Whitlock then got a measure of control for the first time with a run of four points to level, and with the Indian showing signs of nerves, she took the third game.

Anaka’s assured play was back in the fourth and she looked in command as she went 9-4 ahead. Emily again fought back to 9-8.

A boast into the tin after a long rally brought up match ball. One was saved with a drop, but then with the court at her mercy and her opponent stranded at the back, Emily tinned her volley and India had the lead.

It looked as though Victoria Temple-Murray would pull one back for England when she established a two-game lead, but Aparajitha fought back superbly, saving a solitary match-ball at 9-10 in the fourth before racing away with the fifth to delight the Indian bench and supporters.

“England has always been a powerhouse in squash, this victory is very sweet. Anaka was extraordinary today. This is a warning sign to the rest of the world.

“Aparijitha showed great fighting spirit to claw back from two games down,” commented Indian team coach Cyrus Poncha.

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