Gold Coast, April 13: The Indian duo of Dipika Pallikal and Saurav Ghosal stormed to the final of the squash mixed doubles event of the Commonwealth Games here on Friday (April 13). Pallikal and Ghosal overcame top seeds Joelle King and Paul Coll of New Zealand 2-1 (9-11, 11-8, 11-10) in the semifinals.
In a match that lasted 50 minutes, the fifth seeded Indian pair lost the first game 9-11. However, they fought back in the second game 11-8, levelling the tie at 1-1. The match then went down to the wire with both teams toiling for victory with Pallikal and Ghosal eventually succeeding 11-10 in the third game.
INDIA IN SQUASH FINALS!— Doordarshan Sports (@ddsportschannel) April 13, 2018
India's mixed doubles squash pair of @DipikaPallikal and @SauravGhosal have entered the final with a 2-1 win over New Zealand. #GC2018 #GC2018Squash #CommonwealthGames2018 #IndiaAtCWG #CWG2018 pic.twitter.com/qSjbtHi73Z
Ghosal and Pallikal share a good chemisty as the latter is Ghosal's sister-in-law. "To be honest I've known her since she was nine or 10 and we've always been close. Of course, she's officially family now but I don't think the intimacy has changed and we always support each other," he had recently said about their partnership.
In the women's doubles, defending champions Joshna Chinappa and Pallikal advanced into the semifinals. The Indian duo defeated the fifth seeded pair of Samantha Cornett and Nikki Todd of Canada 2-1 (7-11, 11-5, 11-9) to claim a semifinal berth.
Chinappa and Dipika were off to a sluggish start going down 7-11 in the first game in just nine minutes. However, the experienced duo fought back strongly notching up a 11-5 win in the second game. The experienced Indian combo then continued their assault and sealed the match in the third game 11-9. They will face the English pair of Laura Massaro and Sarah-Jane Perry in the semifinals on Saturday.
In men's doubles, Vikram Malhotra and Ramit Tandon lost to England's Declan James and James Willstrop 1-2 to end their campaign. Tandon and Malhotra started proceedings with a gritty 11-10 win in the first game but failed to hold on to the momentum, losing the tie 11-10, 8-11 5-11.
Malhotra and Tandon had overcome Jamaican pair of Christopher Binnie and Lewis Walters 11-4, 11-10 for a place in the men's doubles quarterfinals.