Second-seed India crashed out of the ongoing Squash World Cup following a humiliating 0-3 defeat at the hands of fourth seeds Malaysia on Friday. Malaysia will next take on top-seed and defending champions Egypt in the final on Saturday. Egypt blanked Japan 4-0 in the other semi-final.
Malaysia took the lead in the first match, with Sai Hung Ong saving a sudden death match ball and then converting in the fifth game to edge out Abhay Singh in a gripping encounter that lasted 37 minutes.
The 18-year-old Aira Azman gave Malaysia a 2-0 lead, beating the experienced Joshna Chinappa 7-3, 7-3, 5-7, 7-4 in a 21-minute match.
After going down by two games, Chinappa pulled one game back but eventually went down 7-4 in the fourth to leave India in trouble.
After the reverses suffered by Singh and Chinappa, India needed wins from both Saurav Ghosal and Tanvi Khanna to have any hope of progressing on games won.
This task was made even more difficult when World No.134 Darren Pragasam took a shock 1-0 lead against World No.19 Ghosal.
The 36-year-old Indian came storming back in the second game to check Malaysia`s momentum, with Ghosal – wearing a heavy strapping on his right knee – levelling with a 7-2 win.
Despite the win, Ghosal appeared to be struggling, and Pragasam took full advantage to move into the lead with a 7-6 win in game three before breaking Indian hearts with a 7-5 win in the fourth game to send Malaysia into the final.
Results: Semifinals: Egypt beat Japan 4-0 (Karim El Hammamy beat Tomotaka Endo 7-1, 7-6, 7-2; Fayrouz Aboelkheir beat Satomi Watanabe 7-5, 7-2, 7-2; Aly Abou Eleinen beat Ryunosuke Tsukue 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-5;
Kenzy Ayman beat Akari Midorikawa 7-3, 7-4).
Malaysia beat India 3-0 (Sai Hung Ong beat Abhay Singh 7-4, 5-7, 1-7, 7-1, 7-6; Aira Azman beat Joshna Chinappa 7-3, 7-3, 5-7, 7-4; Darren Pragasam beat Saurav Ghosal 7-5, 2-7, 7-6, 6-5).
(With PTI inputs)