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Indian women enter quarter finals for first time

Posted on Nov 14, 09:39PM | UNI

Indian Women's Squash team created history entering the quarter finals for the first time ever in the world squash team championships at Nimes in France.

After defeating higher ranked Ireland and Argentina in the league stage in Pool G, India seeded 10th and led by world number 13 ranked Dipika Pallikal, upset the Netherlands seeded 8 in the pre-quarter finals today, according to a communique from the team's coach Cyrus Poncha.

Upcoming star player Anaka Alankamony went on first against Milou van der Heijden. Aware that it was an even contest but Anaka showed great maturity and resilience to play a simple medium paced basic game to over come her opponent 3-0.

Dipika Paliikal went on next against former world no. 2 Natalie Grinham. From the onset Natalie was firing on all cylinders. Dipika gave everything she had but in vain as Natalie used her drops and lobs to great effect to win 3-0.

In the deciding match our no. 2 player Joshana Chinappa gave us the jitters when she dropped the first against a charged up Orla Noom.

She pulled herself up in the second using effective cross cross court drives and drops. The third once again was a close one going Orla's way. The fourth game the match once again turned around with Joshana using a wide array of shots which caught Olra Noom flat footed time and again.

Joshana was on a roll and she convincingly won the final two games to ensure India made its historic entry into the elite world of squash - top 8.

This is only the third time that India is participating in this event which has been running since 1979. In 2002 the Indian women finished 18th and in the last edition 2010 in New Zealand, India finished 11th.

The results(pre quarter finals): INDIA bt [8] NETHERLANDS 2/1 Anaka Alankamony bt Milou van der Heijden 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 Dipika Pallikal lost Natalie Grinham 8-11, 4-11, 3-11 Joshana Chinappa bt Orla Noom 5-11, 11-9,8-11, 11-2, 11-3