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Australia pull off sensational semi-final upset over Egypt

Chennai, Dec 11 (UNI) The final of the 21st ICL world men's team squash championship can as well be termed as 'Ashes of squash' with Australia who, had last won the title in 2003, pulling off a sensational 3-0 upset over Egypt and setting up a clash for the title against defending champions England who blanked France 2-1 in the semi-finals here today.

Egypt, firm favourites as the top ranked team in this edition saw the Aussi earmour hitting them like a bolt from the blue with their world no 1 player Amr Shabana off colour and losing the second singles match to former World champion and current Aussie no 1 player David Palmer 6-11, 6-11,11-6, 6-11 in a 55 minute duel.

Amr's defeat came after Egypt appeared to on the way to the final when Mohammed Abbas, with his characteristic deceptive wristy placements downed Aussie no 3 Cameron Pilley 7-11,11-7,11-4, 1-8 in a hard fought 62 minute battle of guile. So shocked was Amr that in an uncontrollable fit of anger with himself , he broke his raquet.

Cameron's win saw the kangaroos cock a hoop and Egypt's no 2 star Karim Darwish, who sat out of the match against India yesterday, going down to no 2 Aussie Stewart Boswell 7-11, 11-7,9-11, 8-11 in 73 minutes.

Egypt were runners-up to England in 2005 and were billed as favourites. They were ranked top ahead of England with the world no1 Amr in their presence.

In the second semi-finals, England, however had it very easy against France winning all their matches.

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Story first published: Tuesday, December 11, 2007, 20:10 [IST]
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