Squash: Indian girls make last 8

Eindhoven (The Netherlands) : India carved out a 2-1 win over Australia on Saturday to ensure a place in the top eight competition from Pool B in the girls team event of the WSF-World junior squash championship here.

Though seeded higher than Australia, the start was not auspicious with Adya Advani going down fighting to Lakeesha Rarere in five games after clawing back from two games down.

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One of the most improved juniors in Australia now, Lakeesha showed the consistency that seemed to desert her after her stupendous start. But regaining it in time, Lakeesha made the difference finally.

However, the joy was short-lived for Australia. One match down in the tie, India looked up to the next two players Harshit Jawanda and Akanksha Salunkhe to save the situation and sure enough they responded well and decisively.

Harshit first breezed past Samantha Calvert in straight games inside 20 minutes and Akanshka defeated Victoria Leow in style.

A delighted National coach Cyrus Poncha, who is with the team, said: “We have achieved the first target of getting into the top eight. The competition ahead is tough. Our next match against USA itself will be a task, but our strength is the good depth in talent. So let’s hope there will be more moments of glory.”

The result:

Pool B: India bt Australia 2-1 (Adya Advani lost to Lakeesha Rarere 8-11, 3-11, 11-5, 16-14, 4-11; Harshit Jawanda bt Samantha Calvert 11-4, 11-5, 11-3; Akanksha Salunkhe bt Victoria Leow 11-5, 11-4, 11-3).