Pakistan to face Australia in Last-16 World Championship encounter

Karachi: Pakistan, who is seeded fourteenth in WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship underway in France, secured second position in Pool C behind France after brushing aside Netherlands and qualified for the Last-16 stage where they will meet fourth seeds Australia.

Top 31 nations are competing in the 24th edition of the biennial event which is being held in France for the first time.

Pakistan, the six-time champions who crashed out of the top 16 for the first time in the last edition, restored their position in the elite group after seeing off Netherlands 2/1.

After the first two matches were shared, squad number two Farhan Zaman clinched victory for Pakistan when he beat Sebastiaan Weenink 11-7, 12-10, 10-12, 11-8.

Left-hander Farhan Mehboob defeated Bart Ravelli by 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 score to put Pakistan 1-0 up but Nasir Iqbal lost to Laurens Jan Anjema 4-11, 5-11, 5-11 as Netherlands levelled the arrears before Farhan Zaman sealed victory for Pakistan.

“We were expecting to finish second in the pool – all my players are playing well,” said Pakistan coach Jamshed Gul. “But my players are not being able to play as many matches as others on the Tour – so this event gives them a good chance to compete at a high level, which is why we are here.”

“They have the ability, but they’re not getting the matches. Dropping out of the top 16 last year was bad for us – which is why we wanted to come back and improve our position this year to show the people back home that squash is still a major sport for us,” he added.

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