Squash World Cup: Malaysia shock France to enter semisMarch 10th, 2011 - 11:35 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, March 10 (IANS) Malaysia delivered a stunning 2-1 defeat on France to set up a semi-final clash with England while top seeds Egypt take on Australia in the penultimate round of the Squash World Cup here Friday.
In a major upset, fifth-seeded Malaysia came back after losing their opening singles to win the next two matches and eliminate fourth-ranked France.
The hard-earned victory helped Malaysia finish second in pool A behind Egypt and advance to the semi-finals while second-seeded England, who earlier defeated No.3 Australia 3-0, and topped pool B with an all-win record.
The Malaysians were spearheaded by the reigning women’s World No.1 Nicol David who expectedly won the second singles against Coline Aumard 3-0 to level the tie after France had taken the first singles when Mathieu Castagnet overcame Muhd Asyraf Azan in four games and 68 minutes.
In the closely fought deciding third singles, Kamran Khan pulled off a 3-2 win against the higher-ranked Gregoire Marche, the match lasting all of 71 minutes.
Khan, the 21-year-old from Kuala Lumpur who was making his senior international debut in the event, was undoubtedly the star of the day.
Ranked ten places behind Marche, Khan recovered from a heavy defeat in the fourth game to beat the former European junior champion 5-11, 11-9, 11-3, 2-11, 11-4.
“I’m really happy to help my team get to the semi-finals,” said the jubilant Malaysian. “It’s my first time at a team event.”
Khan paid tribute to his illustrious team-mate Nicol David: “I’ve learned a lot from being around Nicol - she’s not only a very nice person, but she has helped me a lot with my game.
“Greg is a good player. I’ve watched him a lot on the PSA Tour, but I haven’t played him since we were about 15. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I just tried to play my game.
“I won the third game easily and then relaxed too much. I really wanted to win it for Malaysia.”
Later, in an inconsequential pool B match, India overcame Mexico 2-1 for their only win in the competition and finished third in the pool.
Group A - (5) Malaysia bt (4) France 2-1: Muhd Asyraf Azan lost to Mathieu Castagnet 4-11, 13-11, 3-11, 0-11 (68m); Nicol David bt Coline Aumard 11-2, 11-3, 11-2 (20m); Kamran Khan bt Gregoire Marche 5-11, 11-9, 11-3, 2-11, 11-4 (71m).
Group B - (6) India bt (7) Mexico 3-0:
Saurav Ghosal bt Cesar Salazar 11-4, 11-6, 11-8; Dipika Pallikal lost to Samantha Teran 11-7, 12-14, 9-11, 11-13; Siddharth Suchde bt Jorge Isaac Baltazar Ferreira 11-9, 11-1, 11-3.
(2) England bt (3) Australia 3-0: James Willstrop bt Cameron Pilley 11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10 (54m); Jenny Duncalf bt Rachael Grinham 11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9 (57m); Peter Barker bt Aaron Frankcomb 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 (43m).
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Tags: azan, chennai, clash, coline, egypt, european junior champion, four games, gregoire, international debut, kuala lumpur, malaysians, marche, match, nicol david, psa, seeds, semi finals, team mate, third game, world cup