Thursday May 3, 2012
Malaysia make great start in Asian Teams
By KNG ZHENG GUAN
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia got off to a storming start in the Asian Team Squash Championships by dominating lesser opponents in Kuwait.
Even without the services of top menís players Mohd Azlan Iskandar and Ong Beng Hee, a second string Malaysian team were simply too strong for first Palestine and then Iran.
National No. 3 Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan, leading the team for the first time, gave the team a perfect start by trouncing Palestineís Khaled Ulyan 11-4, 11-2, 11-4 on Tuesday.
Then Mohd Asyraf Azan, playing in his first team event since the 2008 edition, beat Samer Abu Daga 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 to seal the win for Malaysia.
In the dead rubber, 22-year-old Kamran Khan took to the courts against a 60-year-old Akram Ismail much to the crowdís amusement.
Kamran duly won 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 to hand Malaysia a 3-0 win.
Yesterday, the team were once again on fire as they defeated Iran 3-0 to qualify for the quarter-finals.
Malaysia faced Japan in a late match yesterday.
In the womenís event, world No. 13 and national No. 2 Low Wee Wern started strongly against Sri Lankaís Mihiliya Methsarani, winning 11-2, 11-4, 11-3 on Tuesday.
Delia Arnold then defeated Sharya Guruge 11-2, 11-3, 11-3 before debutant Zuhijjah Azan made a fine start to her first senior team outing, beating Damindhi Udangawe 11-1, 11-2, 11-0.
The Malaysian girls, who are seeded second in the tournament, then beat China 3-0 yesterday and are well on course to finish as group champions.
Pool A: Jordan bt Singapore 2-1, India bt Singapore 3-0. Pool B: Japan bt Iran 3-0, Malaysia bt Palestine 3-0 (Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan bt Khaled Ulyan 11-4, 11-2, 11-4; Mohd Asyraf Azan bt Samer Abu Daga 11-6, 11-6, 11-5; Kamran Khan bt Akram Ismail 11-5, 11-5, 11-6), Malaysia bt Iran 3-0 (Asyraf bt Mohd Reza Sadeghpour 11-9, 11-9, 13-11; Ivan Yuen bt Navid Maleksabet 11-8, 11-3, 11-3; Kamran bt Sayed Mohd Hossein 11-7, 14-12, 11-6). Pool C: South Korean bt Taiwan 2-1, Hong Kong bt Iraq 3-0. Pool D: Kuwait bt Sri Lanka 3-0, Pakistan bt China 3-0. Women Pool A: Hong Kong bt Iran 3-0, South Korea bt Japan 2-1. Pool B: India bt China 3-0, Malaysia bt Sri Lanka 3-0 (Low Wee Wern bt Mihiliya Methsarani 11-2, 11-4, 11-3; Delia Arnold bt Sharya Guruge 11-2, 11-3, 11-3; Zuhijjah Azan bt Damindhi Udangawe 11-2, 11-2, 11-0), Malaysia bt China 3-0 (Siti Munirah Jusoh bt Xiu Chen 11-6, 11-6, 11-2; Wee Wern bt Li Dongjin 11-4, 11-7, 11-4; Delia bt Gu Jinyue 11-2, 11-9, 11-4).