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Asian Games: Bright start for Indian squash team

November 22, 2010 20:16 IST

Spearheaded by Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa, Indian men's and women's racqueters came out with a heartening performance to end the day on an unbeaten note in the squash team events of the Asian Games, in Guangzhou on Monday.

Indian men blanked Japan 3-0 in their opening encounter of the day and then went on to secure their third straight preliminary league victory in the event, thrashing Saudi Arabia with an identical scoreline.

In the women's section, Chinappa, Dipika Pallikal and Anaka Alankamony displayed perfect dead drop for winners and dying length to the back corners to rip apart the challenge of Chinese racqueters 3-0 in the first outing. Later, they secured a much-deserved victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in the final clash of the day at the Town Gymnasium.

The Indian men, who had trounced minnows Qatar by an identical score on Sunday in their opening tie, faced little opposition from Japan and Saudi Arabia in the men's category.

They, however, expect to face a tough competition against Malaysia on Tuesday in their concluding league tie of Pool B.

Bronze medallist in the singles event, Ghosal started the rout of Japan when he drubbed Yuta Fuki 3-0 (11-6, 11-2, 11-6) in 22 minutes.

Siddharth Suchde had to put his best foot forward to overcome Tsukue Shinnosuke 11-5, 12-10, 11-6 in 45 minutes that gave India a 2-0 lead.

The victory was sealed by Harinder Pal Sandhu who got the better of Shimizu Takanori in 33 minutes, the score reading 11-9, 11-7, 12-10 in Indian's favour.

In their clash against Saudi Arabia, national champion Ghosal once again proved his mettle and maintained his focus to the optimum throughout the match to secure a deserving win over Ahmad Abdullah Aboragah 11-3, 11-6, 11-2 in 21 minutes.

Harinder Pal then made it 2-0 for India with a hard-earned 11-3, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9 victory over Niyf Khlaifah Aburequah in 27 minutes.

Sandeep Jangra maintained the Indian dominance, displaying some excellent volleys and good groundstrokes to outclass his lesser known opponent Taher Ali Botayan 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 in 16 minutes.

India and Malaysia led the pool by winning all their rubbers with identical 3-0 margins.

In Pool A, Pakistan and Hong Kong are the joint leaders.

Indian men will also lock horns with Korea on Tuesday apart from the top-seed Malaysians.

In the women's Pool B, India made the winning start against the hosts China with country's top-ranked player Chinappa routing Li Jiang 11-1, 11-7, 11-1.

Another Chennai-girl Dipika Pallikal showcased some of her famed dead drop winners to reduce Dongjin Li to a mere spectator. Pallikal defeated Li 11-2, 11-5, 11-6.

Anaka Alankamony made it 3-0 for India, outplaying lesser-known Gu Jinyue 11-7, 11-2, 11-5.

In their final outing of the day against Pakistan, Chinappa led the Indian charge with a 3-1 drubbing of Maria Toorpakai Wazir in 31 minutes. The Indian won 11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-5.

Pallikal scored a fluent 11-7, 11-3, 11-4 victory over Saima Shoukat in 22 minutes to seal the issue beyond doubt.

Anaka then dished out a superb performance against Zoya Khalid to win 11-6, 11-1, 11-7 in 16 minutes.

With two consecutive victories, India share the top spot with Hong Kong in Pool B. In Pool A, Korea lead the table with Malaysia at second position.

Indian eves will play Hong Kong on Tuesday.

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