India in quarterfinals of World Team Squash

Mulhouse (France), June 12 (IANS) India got past Hong Kong 2-1 to reach the quarter-finals at the World Team Squash Championships here Wednesday.

The longest match of the pre-quarterfinal involved India’s top player Saurav Ghosal and Max Lee. World No. 20 Ghosal eventually won 11-3, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6 in 61 minutes.

Ramit Tandon blanked Yip Tzs Fung 11-5, 11-9, 11-5 to give India an unassailable lead in the match. The consolation win for Hong Kong came when Harinder Pal Sandhu lost to Leo Au 9-11, 11-7, 4-11.

“We were confident about this match, but all respect due to our Asian counterpart, we didn’t take them lightly,” India coach Cyrus Poncha was quoted as saying by Squashsite.

“Our first goal, which was to reach the top eight, is now achieved. Tomorrow, if all goes well, and we don’t play Egypt!!! Of course, meeting the World Champions is going to be a hard task indeed,” he added.

Tuesday, India outclassed Venezuela 3-0 to top pool H and also confirm their progress to the pre-quarterfinals.

Having beaten strong contenders Argentina and Finland on consecutive days, India came into this contest as overwhelming favourites and so it proved as they toyed with the inexperienced Venezuelans in the final pool match up.

Mahesh Mangaonkar was first up on court and raced away to a 2-0 lead dropping just three points on the way to Miguel Vallennilla, but eased off in the third game but still had too much in reserved to brush aside his opponent in just 16 minutes.

Sandhu was brought back into the squad as Ghosal was given a day off with an eye on tough battles ahead. Sandhu won the first game with minimal fuss but took the eye of the ball as Gabriel Teran snatched the second to level the match at 1-1.

However, Sandhu got his act together to end any hopes of an unlikely upset and won the next two games to close out the match in 23 minutes.

Tandon was next up on court and his stroke play was way too much for Miguel Mendez to handle and the Indian raced away to a straight forward win, conceding a total of 7 points in the three games played that lasted 17 minutes.

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