Pallikal, Ghosal in World Championship final

India’s Dipika Pallikal and Saurav Ghosal got past compatriots Joshna Chinappa and Harinder Pal Sandhu to storm into the mixed doubles final at the World Doubles Squash Championship here today.

Dipika Pallikal and Saurav Ghosal will play for the gold medal tomorrow.   -  V Ganesan

India’s Dipika Pallikal and Saurav Ghosal got past compatriots Joshna Chinappa and Harinder Pal Sandhu to storm into the mixed doubles final at the World Doubles Squash Championship here today.

For the gold medal match tomorrow, the Indian pair will be meeting New Zealand ‘s Joelle King and Paul Coll, the same pair whom they had beaten earlier in the league stage.

However, the top seeded women’s doubles duo of Pallikal and Chinappa lost in the semifinals to settle for bronze.

Chinappa also ended up with a bronze alongside Sandhu after the defeat at the hands of the fellow Indians.

The biggest result for India was Pallikal and Ghosal entering the final even though it came at the expense of Chinappa and Sandhu. The two had to meet in the criss-cross semifinal and as it happened Pallikal and Ghosal proved their superiority over three games.

A bigger prize awaits on the morrow when it could be a silver, a certainty for India now, if not the gold.

Dipika played a star role in her mixed doubles semi-final win over Chinappa and Sandhu. She controlled and commanded most of the match, according to national coach Cyrus Poncha, who witnessed the exciting fight.

Lot of the play was centered around the female players and the Pallikal’s consistency and aggressive approach paid rich dividends. Yet for all this it was Chinappa and Sandhu who shot ahead. Trailing 7-10 in the first game, they were able to reel away four straight points to give the match a dramatic start. But the roles changed there. If it was Ghosal who pushed up the side to 4-0 lead in the next then Pallikal took over to ensure the good start did no go astray.

Some fabulous winners from her at the right times kept Chinappa and Sandhu on the defensive. Pallikal hit five winners to restore parity in scores and the duo did not look back from there to sign off on a winning note.

The day also saw India’s famed pair Chinappa and Pallikal, the reigning Commonwealth Games champion, going down in the women’s doubles. The top pair did not quite click when needed and went down to Rachael Grinham and Donna Urquhart of Australia in the semi-final. The Indians settled for a bronze.

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