The Indian team put up a dominant show in both the men’s and women’s categories as they blanked their respective opponents to sail into the semifinals of the Asian Team Squash Championship in Kuwait.
While the women’s team registered a 2—0 victory over the higher ranked Malaysians to top the pool, the men’s team blanked Japan 3—0.
Seeded third, it was always going to be an uphill task for the Indian eves against the second seeded Malaysia, and especially after Joshna Chinappa lost her first game against Delia Arnold.
But a disciplined and defiant Joshna managed to turn things around quickly as she went on to clinch the second game before pocketing the third game convincingly.
She was leading 7—3 in the fourth game also before Delia fought her way to go ahead 10—9. Joshna, however, held her nerve and came up with some powerful volleys and cross—court drops to win the game and the match 8—11 11—4 11—5 12—10 (3—1).
In the next match, Anaka Alankmony beat Siti Munirah Josoh 11—6 11—5 11—4 (3—0). Anaka raced off to take 4—0 lead and never looked back as she held on to it throughout the match, winning it in straight games.
India will now face fifth seeded Korea in the semifinals, while Malaysia will be playing top seeded Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, a steady performance by the Indian men ensured no hiccups against Japan.
World ranked 25 Saurav Ghosal brushed aside the challenge from Shinnosuke Tsukue to win 11—3 11—6 11—5 (3—0), while Siddharth Suchde (World No 45) prevailed over Yuta Fukui 11—4 8—11 11—8 11—3 (3—1) and Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (World No 92) beat Ryosei Kobayashi 11—1 11—6 (2—0).
India will take on against hosts Kuwait in the semifinals.
Women (India bt Malaysia 2—0): Joshna Chinappa bt Delia Arnold 8—11 11—4 11—5 12—10 (3—1), Anaka Alankmony bt Siti Munirah Josoh 11—6 11—5 11—4 (3—0), Dipika Pallikal (match withdrawn) Lo Wee Wern.
Men (India bt Japan 3—0): Saurav Ghosal bt Shinnosuke Tsukue 11—3 11—6 11—5 (3—0), Siddharth Suchde bt Yuta Fukui 11—4 8—11 11—8 11—3 (3—1), Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu bt Ryosei Kobayashi 11—1 11—6 (2—0).
Keywords: Asian Team Squash Championship