Millennium Post

Squash: Pakistan stun India in men’s, women into semis

India on Sunday suffered a major disappointment as the country’s top squash players Saurav Ghosal and Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu lost to arch-rivals Pakistani player in the individual men’s semifinals in the 12th South Asian Games here.

Top seed Ghosal was out of sorts in his 4-11, 5-11, 12-10, 5-11 loss to Farhan Zaman while Sandhu did a shade better before conceding the match in the fourth game in favour of his rival second seed Nasir Iqbal, citing a right hamstring injury. Sandhu was trailing at 7-11 14-12 7-11 6-6 when he called injury time out in an ill-tempered match at the R G Baruah Sports Complex.

It is not yet known whether Sandhu would be fit to play against Ghosal for the bronze-medal match on Monday after his injury on Sunday in the semifinal match which had seen the Indian arguing with the referee who once warned him to stop doing that.

In the women’s event, however, ace player and top seed Joshna Chinappa easily defeated her Pakistani rival Sadia Gul 11-9 11-7 11-5 in the semifinals to set up the summit clash on Monday against another Pakistani player.

A distraught looking Ghosal later said that losing at home at this stage was disappointing though he would take it in his stride. “I did not play at the level I am capable of but I don’t want to take away from my Pakistani opponent. He was better today,” he added.

On the India-Pakistan rivalry, he said, “When India and Pakistan play against each other in any sport, some might be having that feeling. But I always tried to control myself and not think about it and concentrate on my game.”
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