POSTED DAE : Feb. 12, 2016
Guwahati: It will be India versus Pakistan in the final in both the men’s and women’s sections in the squash team event on Wednesday in the South Asian Games 2016 being held here.
Both the men and women won their round robin matches on a comprehensive 3-0 note. In the men’s section India first edged out Sri Lanka and later in the afternoon ousted Bangladesh. In the women’s section India’s sole match was against Sri Lanka.
A heartening aspect was the way Saurav Ghosal displayed in both matches. Except in the first game against Sri Lankan Ravindu Laksiri where the latter forced him to extra points , the Indian national champion seemed getting back to his wonted rhythm. India will need Saurav at his best in the final because the team is already weakened by the absence of Harinder Pal Sandhu. Sandhu who snapped his hamstring muscle and was rested for the round robin matches, is unlikely to take the court, according to National coach Cyrus Poncha. “That puts an extra pressure on us. But the boys are capable and we are hoping for a good result,” he said. Kush Kumar and Ravi Dixit looked adequate in today’s matches.
In the women’s match Joshna Chinappa was again rested as India had enough strength in the rest _ Dipika Karthik, Sunayna Kuruvilla and Akanksha Salunkhe_ to make it another easy day. On paper India has the advantage against Pakistan in the final with Joshna spearheading. However the new found enthusiasm, a little over done the other day in the individual competition final by Maria Toorpakia, in the Pakistan team meant, India needs to be watchful while being effective. There is optimism however in the Indian camp.
Results: round robin:
Men: India bt Sri Lanka 3-0 (Saurav Ghosal bt Ravindu H. Laksiri 13-11, 11-5, 11-8; Kush Kumar bt Md Shamil Wakeel 10-12, 11-3, 11-9, 11-9; Ravi Dixit bt Dilshan Gunawardene 11-7, 11-6, 11-9); Bangladesh lost to Pakistan 0-3 (Md Shumon lost to Farhan Zaman 3-11 7-11 7-11; Shahid Islam lost to Danish Atlas Khan 2-11 2-11 4-11; Rajon Kumar lost to Md Saqib Yousaf 1-11 1-11 3-11); Nepal lost to Sri Lanka 0-3 (Arhant Keshar Simha lost to Ravindu H Laksiri 4-11 2-11 6-11; Amrit Thapa Magar lost to Md Shamil Wakeel 6-11 4-11 4-11;Sujan Jwarchan lost to Gihan Suwaris 6-11 0-11 2-11) ; India bt Bangladesh 3-0 (Saurav Ghosal bt Md Shumon 11-2 11-0 11-2; Kush Kumar bt Shahid Islam 11-5 11-6 11-7; Ravi Dixit bt Rajon Kumar 11-2 11-2 11-8)
Women: India bt Sri Lanka 3-0 (Dipika Karthik bt Mihilya Methsarani 11-4 11-4 11-7; Sunayna Kuruvilla bt Naduni Gunawardane 11-6 11-3 11-3; Akanksha Salunkhe bt Fathima Issadeen 11-1 11-3 11-4); Nepal lost to Pakistan 0-3 (Bhawana Sunwar lost to Sadia Gul 1-11 5-11 3-11; Krishna Thapa lost to Sammer Anjum 2-11 1-11 2-11; Bipana Blon lost to Moqaddas Ashraf 4-11 5-11 5-11)