2001 Test Series
England versus the World Stars
Chichester, Wolverhampton, Hallamshire England
June 12-14 2001
OPEN CHAMPION FITZ-GERALD STARS IN FIRST ROUND OF TEST SERIES by Steve Cubbins and Alan Thatcher, © 2001
Test Match Series Round One Chichester, June 12th
World Stars defeat England 2-1:
Adrian Grant (ENG)
bt Karim Darwish (ROW) 7-9, 9-7, 10-8, 6-9, 9-6
Newly-crowned British Open champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald led the Rest of the World team to a 2-1 victory in the first of three Test Matches against England. England opened the scoring, with Adrian Grant beating Egypt's world junior champion Karim Darwish 7-9. 9-7, 10-8, 6-9, 96 in 48 minutes of high-quality squash. In a see-saw match it was Grant who established a vital early lead in the fifth, a lead he never relinquished.
The match was levelled when Fitz-Gerald beat England's number one Linda Charman-Smith in four. A rapid-fire first game victory seemed to indicate that the Australian was in no mood to relax after finally lifting the only trophy to elude just two days ago, but Charman-Smith refused to be rattled as she took the second game. She couldn't maintain that form though, as Fitz-Gerald ran out the winner 9-0, 5-9, 9-5, 9-1.
The decider saw world number one Jonathon Power seal victory for the rest of the world team, but Mark Chaloner put up a terrific fight in front of the tightly-packed full house, eventually going down in five in just short of an hour.
\The match featured entertaining attacking squash, as well as some entertaining refereeing decisions. The series moves on to Wolverhampton tomorrow and Hallamshire on Friday. Line-ups are as follows: Wolverhampton: Simon Parke v Jonathon Power, Sue Wright v Sarah Fitz-Gerald, Nick Matthew v Karim Darwish Hallamshire: Lee Beachill v Jonathon Power, Linda Charman-Smith v Sarah Fitz-Gerald, Nick Matthew v Karim Darwish
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