India overcame a fighting South Africa 3—0 to top Group F and qualify for the pre—quarterfinals of the men’s world team squash championship here Tuesday.
The buoyant Indians will next play Denmark, who earlier in the day pulled off the biggest upset in the championship by defeating Pakistan 2—1 in the final qualifying round. The result pushed one of the world’s most successful squash nations out of the World Top 16 for the first time in their history.
In the first singles, Siddharth Suchde, trailing 1—2, overcame hard—hitting Shaun le Roux. It was Suchde’s ability to finish the ball that saw him win the fourth game comfortably and win the decider from 5—all.
There seemed to be a repeat performance when Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu too fought back from 1—2 games against the ‘Ninja’ Clinton Leeuw.
Sandhu seemed to be in total control of the match winning the first and leading in the second. A string of unforced errors gave Leeuw the impetus and he grabbed his chances to take a lead.
It was Sandhu’s never—say—die attitude that ensured he was victorious in the 83—minute duel that could have gone either way.
In the third singles, Saurav Ghosal wrapped up the proceedings with a classy performance to beat Stephen Coppinger in straight games.
(6) India beat (11) South Africa 3—0: Siddharth Suchde bt Shaun le Roux 7—11, 11—6, 8—11, 11—1, 11—6 (80m); Harinder Pal Sandhu bt Clinton Leeuw 12—10, 9—11, 6—11, 11—9, 11—8 (83m); Saurav Ghosal bt Stephen Coppinger 11—5, 11—3, 11—4 (28m).
The line—up for the pre—quarter—finals is: (1) England vs Hong Kong China; (9) Italy vs (10) Mexico; (4) Australia vs (14) The Netherlands; (6) India vs Denmark; (5) Malaysia vs (11) South Africa; (3) France vs (13) Finland; (7) Canada vs (8) USA; (2) Egypt vs (16) Germany.
Keywords: world team squash