The Indian squash team booked a spot in the quarter-final of the WSF world men's team squash Championship after they beat a higher seeded team in the tournament, Germany. Mahesh Mangaonkar was the star of the day as he held his nerve and won the decider that helped India advance to the next stage.
Mahesh Mangaonkar did the star turn to help eighth seed India edge seventh-seeded Germany 2-1 for an upset result and earn a passage into the quarterfinal of the WSF world men's team squash championship here on Thursday.
The number three player for India, Mahesh had come on to the court when the tie score read 1-1 and everything depended on him if India was to progress. The confident Indian faced an unsure opponent in Valentin Rapp and made the most of the situation. Controlling the volleys and varying the drives, Mahesh had the measure of Rapp to carve out a comfortable looking 11-6,11-7, 11-4 win, the whole exercise ending in 31 minutes and bringing up joy in the Indian camp.
After Vikram Singh had put India one up with his fluent 11-8, 11-1, 11-8 win over Rudi Rohrmuller, the focus shifted to the clash between the two number one players Saurav Ghosal and Simon Rosner. It was a close battle with fortunes oscillating either way. Both players traded two games each and in the decisive fifth game, Ghosal looked a spent force despite looking brilliant in patches. Rosner ran away with the game and the match 11-9, 4-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-3 to restore parity.
National Coach Cyrus Poncha said, "Absolutely delighted. It was a great team effort. The boys were all charged up. The result showed it," he added.