ISLAMABAD, Dec 11: Pakistan swept into the quarterfinals of the World Team squash championship on Sunday with a 3-0 knockout of Netherlands that put them in a difficult clash with No 3 seeds France. Mansoor Zaman set the pace downing Dylan Bennett 9-5, 9-6, 9-1 before Shahid Zaman came on to squeeze past Laurens Anjema 9-6, 2-9, 0-9, 9-4, 9-5. The talented Farhan completed the formality by defeating Tom Hoevenaars.

It was the first time in eight years that Pakistan were able to make the last eight grade and coach Jamshed Gul was on the drawing board planning his strategy for the French quarterfinal.

“If the boys continue to show the kind of form they have displayed this far in the championship, I think we can upset France,” Jamshed told Dawn.

But that would be a tall order for a side seeded No 7 which will be pitted against the likes of Thierry Lincou, Gregory Gaultier and Renan Lavigne.

“No doubt they are all big players but I would want my players to play them with confidence and not to be unnerved by their stature,” the coach added.

Lincou will play Shahid, who had to fight tooth and nail in his match on Sunday bouncing back after losing the second and third games.

“The longer he stays on court the better he gets,” Jamshed said of Shahid who was also involved in a five-game marathon in his match against Spain’s Borja Golan on Friday.

On the other hand, Mansoor is to take on Gaultier, a match that Jamshed said should be closely-contested followed by Farhan’s fixture against Lavigne.

On way to the quarterfinals, Pakistan conquered 6th seeds Malaysia that may have done their confidence a world of good. “We are the underdogs and all the pressure will be on France.”

Three other quarterfinals on Monday will see England facing off Wales, defending champions Australia playing Canada and the Malaysians up against the powerful Egyptians.

The top four seeds — England, Egypt, France and Australia — were not on show on Sunday having been given a bye through to quarters.

Among those on court were No. 5 seeds Canada who routed India 3-0 through Shahier Razik, Graham Ryding and Mathew Guiffre. Their victims were Saurav Ghosal, Ritwik Bhattacharya and Siddharth Suchide, all of whom went down in straight games.

Wales, seeded 8 picked up a 2-1 victory over Germany who took a 2-0 lead when David Evans and Alex Gough won their matches before Simon Baker pulled one back upsetting Gavin Jones 9-3, 9-1, 9-6.

Malaysia defeated South Africa 2-1, Ong Beng Hee, M. Azlan Iskander outplaying their respective opponents in straight games but Timothy Arnold lost his match against Clinton Leeuw.

Meanwhile two busloads of players competing in the championship visited the quake-hit children at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences on Sunday.

The players stayed there for some time and tried to cheer up the patients under treatment following the deadly Oct 8 earthquake.

Sunday’s results:

Canada bt India 3-0 (Shahier Razik bt Saurav Ghosal 10-8, 9-6, 9-2; Graham Ryding bt Ritwik Bhattacharya 10-8, 9-4, 9-4; Mathew Guiffre bt Siddharth Suchide 9-4, 9-5).

Wales bt Germany 2-1 (David Evans bt Simon Rosner 9-4, 9-1, 9-0; Alex Gough bt Stefen Leifels 9-8, 10-8, 5-9, 4-9, 9-7; Simon Baker (Germany) bt Gavin Jones 9-3, 9-1, 9-6).

Pakistan bt Nethrerlands (Mansoor Zaman bt Dylan Bennett 9-5, 9-6, 9-1; Shahid Zaman bt Laurens Anjema 9-6 2-9, 0-9, 9-4, 9-5; Farhan Mahboob bt Tom Hoevenaars 9-0, 9-3).

Malaysia bt South Africa 2-1 (Ong Beng Hee bt Mike Toothill 9-4, 9-6, 9-4; M. Azlan Iskander bt Rodney Durbach 9-2, 9-5, 9-1; Clinton Leeuw (South Africa) bt Timothy Arnold 9-5, 9-5, 9-7).

USA bt Hong Kong 3-0 (Jullian Illingworth bt Dick Lau 9-5, 9-5, 9-1; Preston Quick bt Wong Wai Hang 9-0, 9-0, 9-2; Chris Gordon bt Roger Ngan 9-6, 9-7).

Spain bt Austria 3-0 (David Vidal bt Jakon Dimberger 9-4, 9-2, 9-2; Borja Golan bt Aqeel Rehman 9-1, 9-2, 9-0; A. Garbi bt Stefan Braunies 10-8, 9-3).

Monday’s fixtures:

Quarterfinals: Australia v Canada (12.00noon); Malaysia v Egypt (12.00noon); Pakistan v France (4.00pm); England v Wales (4.00 pm).

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