Squash World Cup: Malaysia shocks India and plays Egypt in final

Second-seeded India, who were touted as favorites, lost 5-0 to fourth-seeded Malaysia in the semi-finals of the Squash World Cup at Express Avenue Mall here on Friday. In Saturday’s final, Malaysia will face Egypt, who defeated Japan 6-0 in the other semi-final. India had to be satisfied with the bronze medal (tie with Japan).

Surprisingly, India lost all three matches to Malaysia when it was believed that they would actually win fairly easily based on their ranking and form.

Malaysia, on the other hand, had a great game overall and overcame the inferior team with ridiculous ease.

Full credit to the three Malaysian players – Ong Sai Hoon, Aira Azman and Darren Pragasam – who enjoyed the high-pressure situation.

Ong Saihun’s world ranking may be lower at 149th place compared to Abhay Singh’s 62nd place, but there was nothing to show for it on court. In critical situations, Ong proved to be superior in all aspects.

In the fifth game of the decider, tied 6-6, Abhay was fooled by a spectacularly deceptive drop from the backcourt.

Joshna was unable to repeat what he accomplished in Thursday’s second game. That’s because she was up against Ayla Azman, an extremely talented 18-year-old who is ranked 55th in the world. Joshna, who is ranked 72nd, struggled to win the third game, but Azman proved to be the better player.

Of course, there were quite a few controversial opinions against Joshna here.

Saurav Ghosal was unable to play in the A match as he suffered a minor knee injury the other day. Darren Pragasam came to court a spiritual man. His backhand drops from the backcourt were pure joy.

Earlier in the day, top-seeded Egypt defeated Japan 6-0, proving why they are called a squash powerhouse.

Results (semi-finals):

Malaysia vs India 5-0 (Ong Saihun vs Abhay Singh 7-4, 5-7,1-7,7-1,7-6; Ira Azman vs Joshna Chinappa 7-3, 7-3, 5 -7, 7-4; Darren Pragasam bt Saurav Ghosal 7-5, 2-7, 7-6, 7-5).

Egypt bt Japan 6-0 (Karim El Hammy bt Tomotaka Endo 7-1, 7-6, 7-2; Fairouz Abuelkeir bt Satomi Watanabe 7-5, 7-2, 7-2; Ali Abu Elainen bt Ryunosuke Tsukue 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-6, Kenji Eyman bt Akari Midorikawa 7-3, 7-4).

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