WSF-World c’ship: Saurav fights but India crashes out in quarters

Saurav Ghosal pushed Nick Matthews to the brink of defeat but lost in five games; India went down to England 3-0.

Nick Matthew (in picture) defeated Saurav Ghosal 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9.   -  Getty Images (File Photo)

Expectedly, India, seeded eighth, lost to England, the second seed, 3-0 in the quarterfinals of the WSF-World men’s team squash championship here on Friday, notwithstanding a fighting performance from India’s top player Saurav Ghosal.

The way Saurav played against Nick Matthew, ranked 10 places below the Briton in the world rankings, at 16, in the first rubber, it looked like the Indian might pull off an upset win. However, Matthew, winner of 35 PSA world tour titles, dug deep to script a 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9 victory.

Read: Three Indians in top 20 in World squash

Saurav impressed with his deception, especially the drop shots that kept the Englishman on his toes.

Use of brains

The fifth and deciding game was evenly contested. At 9-9, Matthew unleashed a fantastic backhand double boast winner, and then won the match ball on a ‘stroke’, which the referee awarded in Matthew’s favour after the video review.

Read: India moves into WSF-World men's team squash c'ship

During the on-court interview, the 37-year-old Matthew, attributed the triumph to his experience. “I am a bit slow (due to my age). But I used my brain a little bit more [today]. I also saved the video referral (to the last). That’s because of my experience,” said Matthew, holder of three World championship titles.

England sealed the tie in the second rubber when Daryl Selby outplayed Harinderpal Sandhu 11-2, 11-4, 11-2 in just 38 minutes. In the third ‘dead’ tie, James Willstrop defeated Vikram Malhotra 11-4, 9-11, 11-8.

India will now play for the 5-8th placings.

The results (Quarterfinal)
  • England bt India 3-0 (Nick Matthew bt Saurav Ghosal 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9; Daryl Selby bt Harinderpal Sandhu 11-2, 11-4, 11-2; James Willstrop bt Vikram Malhotra 11-4, 9-11, 11-8).

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