New Delhi: India sent Venezuela crashing out of the WSF Men's World Team Squash Championship to set up an exciting pre-quarterfinal clash against Hong Kong in Mulhouse, France. (Agencies)
After upsetting strong contenders Argentina and Finland on consecutive days, India clinched pole position in Pool 'H' after dispatching 25/28th seed Venezuela 3-0 in the final qualifying round of the biennial World Squash Federation event taking place in France for the first time.
Eighth seed India had come into the contest as overwhelming favourites and they lived up to their billing, virtually toying with the inexperienced Venezuelan attack.
Mahesh Mangaonkar was first up on all-glass court against Miguel Vellennilla and raced away to a 2-0 lead, dropping just three points on his way.
Mahesh, who has impressed all and sundry with convincing wins in the ties against Finland and Argentina, eased off in the third game but still had too much saved in his reserve to brush aside the challenge of his lesser-known opponent.
Harinder Pal Sandhu was brought back into the squad as Saurav Ghosal was given a day off with an eye on tough battles ahead.
Harinder won the first game with minimal fuss but took the eye of the ball as Gabriel Teran snatched the second to level the match at 1-1. Thankfully, Harinder got his act together to end any hopes of an unlikely upset.
He won the next two games to 8 and 5 respectively to close out the match in 23 minutes.
Ramit Tandon was next up on court and his stroke-play was way too much for Miguel Mendez to handle and the Indian raced away to a straight game win, conceding a total of seven points in the tie.
New Delhi: India sent Venezuela crashing out of the WSF Men's World Team Squash Championship to set up an exciting pre-quarterfinal clash against Hong Kong in Mulhouse, France.