Melbourne: It was a good day in office for India in the World doubles squash championship as three of the Indian pairs booked semi-final berths by the end of the day’s proceedings here today. The mixed doubles pairs of Joshna Chinappa and Harinder Pal Sandhu and Dipika Pallikal and Saurav Ghosal have virtually qualified for the last four.
Top Indian doubles pair of Joshna and Dipika also advanced to the semifinals. Joshna was in great touch as she and Sandhu wore down the top seeded Australian pair of Rachael Grinham, a former world champion, and Cameron Pilley in three close games in Pool A.
The team strategy of forcing Rachael to meet more of the returns paid off but just about, said national coach Cyrus Poncha reporting his impressions from the venue. He said such was the closeness of the encounter that in the third game, the points went neck and neck until at 7-7, India forged ahead to knit the game and match. After a gap, the Indian pair went on the court to display the same sparkling touch to down the New Zealand duo of Cambell Grayson and Amanda Landers-Murphy in straight games.
With this the India pair emerged unbeaten with one match left against the current topper David Palmker and Donna Urquhart of Australia. That match tomorrow will decide the Pool standing but both these teams have qualified for the semi-final. The other mixed pair of Dipika and Saurav, seeded two, also had a fabulous day, Poncha said. Saurav was in sublime form in the match against the fancied Colombian pair of Catalina Palaez and Migul Angel Rodriguez and his aggressive approach did the favourable turn.
The second match was lot closer against the Welsh pair of Jenny Haley and Joel Markin, though the Indians won in straight games. Here again the Indian pair has won all its matches with one to go against the current leader New Zealand. Effectively both these teams have firmed their place in the semifinals. The top Indian pair of Joshna and Dipika had only its last league match in doubles to play and made short work of Aika Azman and Min Jie Teh of Malaysia. The Indians with an all-win record topped the Pool and made it to the the last four. However the men’s pair of Harinder and Ramit Tandon were not that lucky.
Losing one and completing their league engagement with a win, the team with three losses overall finished fourth in the Pool to make an exit. MORE PTI
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