Mixed luck for India at Asian Team Squash Championships

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Image Courtesy: © Facebook - Joshna Chinappa

Mixed luck for India at Asian Team Squash Championships

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Press Release

05/14/2016

It proved a day of mixed luck for India in the semi-finals of the Asian team squash championship being held in Chinese Taipei on Saturday. Although the women won their match against Hong Kong, the men were unable to match the feat and lost after a nail-biting fight against Pakistan.

The happy tidings came early in the day for the women with Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Karthik Pallikal showing why they are such formidable names in world squash with exquisite performances. Both won their respective matches and that helped India shock the top seed Hong Kong and storm into the final where they once again face Malaysia to whom they had lost in the group league. “It will be a revenge match. The girls are gearing up for this challenge,” said national coach Cyrus Poncha on the prospects ahead.

After Sachika Ingale failed to keep her slate clean, losing to LiuTsz Ling without much resistance, it was left to Joshna not only to shore up India's stock but also to inspire her colleague Dipika to touch her best. Joshna did not put one foot wrong in taming the Hong Kong number one Annie Au, who at rank 10 was three ranks above the Indian in the world. Aggression was Joshna's ploy from the start, and with clever drives and drops left her rival clueless, winning in straight games. The onus was now on Dipika but the star player started on a diffident note against Joey Chan, who was the winner when the two met last two years ago in the Asian championship. The Indian led 10-8 in the first game but from game-ball position, lost and the inspired Hong Kong player went on to grab the next game too. Dipika looked shattered, but the experience brought out her fighting side and in a jiffy changed the game's complexion by bagging the next two games with explosive drives and astute drops and boasts. Taking the saddle she left Joey rooted to the spot in the decider to win in style and send cheers to her camp.

Alas that was not the scene in the men's section. India without a spearhead like Saurav Ghosal started on the defensive against Pakistan. Velavan Senthilkumar was the first to play against the experienced Farhan Mehboob. The youngster did well, even took a game but the Pakistani had the upper hand. Harinder Pal Sandhu next was again outstanding and even though he took five games, he beat the higher ranked Farhan Zaman and Indian hopes rose. All depended on Kush Kumar, but he failed to capitalise and like the last time, India settled for the bronze.

The results: semi-final : Men: India lost to Pakistan 1-2 ( Velavan Senthilkumar lost to Farhan Mehboob 5-11, 5-11, 11-5, 5-11; Harinder Pal Sandhu bt Farhan Zaman 14-16, 11-8, 11-7,10-12, 11-6); Kush Kumar lost to Tayyab aslam 7-11, 13-11, 11-8, 13-15, 11-3; women: semi-final: India beat Hong Kong 2-1 (Sachika Ingaale lost to Liu Tsz Ling 6-11, 7-11, 2-11; Joshna Chinappa bt Annie Au 11-7, 13-11, 11-4; Dipika Pallikal bt Joey Chan 10-12, 4-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6)

Report Courtesy: © SRFI Media

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