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Men's World Day 2
WORLD MEN'S TEAM SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIPS - SPORTS AND AQUATICS CENTRE, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SECOND DAY
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23
Wales, the no two seeds, dropped a point, and England, the no three seeds, were given a severe fright by record six time winners Pakistan before scraping a 2-1 win. But the home side favourites Australia marched confidently on towards a record seventh title at the world squash team championships in Melbourne.
In the opening tie against the no 12 seeds, Pakistan, Chris Walker, a member of the 1995 and 1997 winning England sides, slumped to a 6-9, 3-9, 4-9 defeat against world no 42 Shahid Zaman, leaving Mark Chaloner and newcomer Lee Beachill to stage a rescue act.
Chaloner, the English no one, also suffered a fright when he dropped the first game to in the top string match against Shahid's cousin, Mansoor Zaman. But he hit back to win and set up young Beachill for the decider.
And the British Champion from Yorkshire, playing in his first world championships, was up to the task, closing out Ajaz Azman 9-6, 9-3, 4-9, 9-6.
Beachill admitted he had felt the pressure. "Chris's match didn't go the way we wanted, and I was nervous because we wanted the win to have a chance of finishing top of the group," he said. "But it was good to get out there and finish off the match."
Wales, the beaten finalists two years ago, also dropped a point against Germany, but only in the dead rubber. Alex Gough and David Evans had given the side a winning 2-0 lead, both scoring easy 3-0 wins.
Australia had no problems, with David Palmer, Stewart Boswell and John Williams all winning in straight games.
Meanwhile, part-time player Neil Frankland battled through the pain barrier and was Scotland's hero when he pulled off one of the best wins of his career to rescue a 2-1 win over Malaysia.
Scotland, the no five seeds, had suffered a shock first day defeat from Holland, and a second successive loss in the top match for world no seven John White again put the side in deep trouble.
But Frankland, who spends most of his time coaching in England, came to the rescue with a 9-6, 8-10, 9-5, 9-8 victory over the world no 58, Mohamed Azlan.
In the opening tie, Martin Heath had kept up his 100% record with a 1-9, 9-5, 9-0, 9-7 win over Kenneth Low, but White then lost 0-9, 10-9, 3-9, 8-10 to former Scottish Junior Open Champion Ong Beng Hee to put his die in danger.
Frankland had lost a five game match against the Dutch, and he said: "I'm absolutely knackered. I'm on all sorts of pain killers and really stiff.
But this makes it all worthwhile and now I'm ready for a beer. I don't think I could have stood it if I'd lost another deciding match."
US v FRANCE - AH NON!
Preston Quick, one of the new rising
stars of American squash, claimed the first game for his team in the world
championships, but France still walked off with a 3-0 victory. Quick took
the opening game against Gregory Gaultier in the third string match, but
the Frenchman hit back to win 7-9, 9-5, 10-9, 9-3. In the top match, Damien
Walker lost 9-5, 9-2, 9-4 yo Renan Lavigne, while Richard Chin went down
9-2, 9-1, 9-0 to Jean Michel Arcucci. The USA now meet New Zealand, the
other unseeded side in Pool F, in the final tie before the play-off stage.
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