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Day 7:

England Clinch World Title In Pakistan
More than four years after 'defecting' from Scotland to join take advantage of England's Lottery-funded World Class Performance Programme, Peter Nicol rewarded his country in the strongest possible way by clinching victory for England in today's (Wednesday) final of the Men's World Team Squash Championships in Islamabad, Pakistan. The 2/0 success over second seeds Egypt marks the first time England have won the biggest team prize in world squash since 1997, and the first time that Nicol has played a part in an England world championships triumph. It was 22-year-old James Willstrop who set up England's victory on the all-glass court at the Mushaf Squash Complex in Islamabad.  The new world number two, who is leading the England squad for the first time, fought back from a game down to claim a sensational 4-9 9-6 9-3 9-1 win over world champion Amr Shabana in the 63-minute clash between the countries' first strings. Nicol, who won a Commonwealth Games gold medal for England in 2002 in Manchester, then faced Egyptian number three Mohammed Abbas for the title.  Despite scoring only three points, Abbas kept the world No8 on court for 44 minutes before Nicol raised his arms in triumph after the 9-0 9-2 9-1 win which earned England their third title since 1995. "This is my way of repaying England for all the support they have give me over the years – the programme, the funding, the coaching, and everything else," said the jubilant former Scot afterwards.   "I really wanted this victory badly and am really pleased to have done it," added Nicol, who now holds two world titles this year after winning the World Games trophy in Germany in July.  

Top  seeds England  triumphed 2/0 over Egypt,  the second seeds, in today's (Wednesday) final of the Big Time Men's World Team Squash  Championships in Islamabad, Pakistan,  to win the prestigious title for the first time since  1997. It was 22-year-old James  Willstrop who set up England's  victory on the all-glass court at the Mushaf Squash Complex in  Islamabad.  The new world number two, who is  leading the England squad for the first time, fought back from a game down  to claim a sensational 4-9 9-6 9-3 9-1 win over world champion Amr Shabana in the 63-minute  clash between the countries' first strings. Next  up was Peter Nicol, the former  world No1 who is competing for the first time in these championships as  the England No3.  The  32-year-old from London  faced Egyptian number three Mohammed Abbas for the  title.  Despite scoring only  three points, Abbas kept the world No8 on court for 44 minutes before  Nicol raised his arms in triumph after the 9-0 9-2 9-1 win which earned  England their third title since 1995. "This  is my way of repaying England for all the support they have give me over  the years – the programme, the funding, the coaching, and everything  else," the jubilant Nicol said afterwards.  "I really wanted  this victory badly and am really pleased to have done  it. "This  means a lot to me – we've done it at last," added  Nicol. France  clinched  third place after beating Canada  2/1.  World number one Thierry Lincou was in fine form  as he despatched Canada's Jonathon  Power 9-4 9-2 9-2 to extend his unbeaten record in the  championships.  But Shahier Razik brought  Canada  back into contention by defeating Renan Lavigne 9-7 7-9 9-7 6-9 9-3  in a 116-minute marathon. However,  Frenchman Gregory Gaultier  made sure of his country's second best ever finish in the event when  he beat Toronto's Graham Ryding  9-2 9-4 9-1 in the decider. Australia  won  the play-off for fifth place,  beating sixth seeds Malaysia 2/0 – but the sixth  place finish marks Malaysia's best-ever position in the event in 12  appearances since 1979. Hosts  Pakistan  also  finished on a high, winning the play-off for seventh place by beating  Wales  2/1 – marking their best finish since 1997. Also  noteworthy was the 11th place conclusion by a young India  team  – appearing in the event for the first time since 1995 when they finished  in 28th place! USA  are  also celebrating in Islamabad:   Seeded in the 19/22 group, the team coached by England world  championships hero Chris Walker  beat Scotland 2/1 in the 13th place play-off, thereby recording their best finish in 22  years! The  young Kuwait  squad,  appearing for the 14th time in the event - with a squad aged 21  or younger - finished in a commendable 16th place, their  highest place since 1979.

. DAY 1:
. Day 2:
Day 3:
. Day 4:
. Day 5:

. Day 6:
. Day 7:
Final Results

Winning England Team pose for thier first World Teams title since 1977

James Willstrop Triumphant following his win over World Champion Amr Shabana in World Team FInal

A win for Egypt in second Semi sees them play England in World Teams Final

Final Results:

[1]  ENGLAND bt  [2] EGYPT  2-0
(James  Willstrop bt Amr Shabana 4-9, 9-6, 9-3, 9-1 (63m); Peter Nicol bt Mohammed  Abbas
9-0, 9-2, 9-1 (44m); Lee Beachill v Karim Darwish (match withdrawn - dead rubber))    


3rd place  play-off:
[3]  FRANCE bt [5] CANADA 2-1
(Thierry  Lincou bt Jonathon Power 9-4, 9-2, 9-2; Renan Lavigne lost to Shahier  Razik 7-9, 9-7, 7-9, 9-6, 3-9; Gregory Gaultier bt Graham Ryding 9-2, 9-4,  9-1)    

5th place  play-off:

[4]  AUSTRALIA bt  [6] MALAYSIA  2-0
(Anthony  Ricketts bt Mohd Azlan Iskandar 10-9, 9-0, 9-2 (34m); Joseph Kneipp bt  Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan 9-0, 9-2, 9-0 (20m); Stewart Boswell v Ong Beng Hee (match withdrawn - dead rubber))    

7th place  play-off:

[7]  PAKISTAN bt [8] WALES 2-1
(Mansoor  Zaman bt Alex Gough 9-4, 9-0, 9-3; Safeer Ullah Khan lost to Gavin Jones  5-9, 3-9, 9-6, 2-9; Farhan Mehboob bt David Evans 6-9, 9-5, 9-4,  9-1)    

9th place  play-off:

[12]  SOUTH AFRICA bt [13/18] GERMANY 2-1
(Rodney  Durbach bt Stefan Leifels 9-2, 9-5, 9-0 (34m); Clinton Leeuw lost to Simon  Baker 3-9, 10-8, 3-9, 9-3, 7-9 (87m); Michael Tootill bt Simon Rosner 9-7,  8-10, 9-6, 9-4 (61m))    

11th place  play-off:

[10]  INDIA bt [9] NETHERLANDS 2-1
(Ritwik Bhattacharya lost to Laurens Jan Anjema 1-9, 3-9, 3-9; Gaurav Nandrajog bt  Tom Hoevenaars 9-4, 9-3, 9-3; Siddharth Suchde bt Dylan Bennett 9-5, 9-6,  9-7)    

13th place  play-off:

[19/22]  USA bt [13/18] SCOTLAND 2-1
(Preston  Quick lost to John White 6-9, 4-9, 7-9; Christopher Gordon bt Stuart  Crawford 9-4, 9-6, 9-4; Julian Illingworth bt Harry Leitch 9-6, 9-3,  9-5)    

15th place  play-off:

[11]  NEW ZEALAND bt [13/18] KUWAIT 2-1
(Callum  O'Brien lost to Abdullah Almezayen 4-9, 8-10, 0-9 (31m); Martin Knight bt  Nasser Al Ramezi 9-1, 9-2, 9-6 (37m); Campbell Grayson bt Bader Al  Hussaini 9-0, 10-9, 9-1 (29m))    

17th place  play-off:

[19/22]  SPAIN bt [13/18] FINLAND 2-1
(Borja  Golan bt Olli Tuominen 9-2, 9-2, 9-1 (32m); Alejandro Garbi Caro bt Hameed  Ahmed 9-6, 9-3, 9-3 (36m); David Vidal Villamide lost to Matias Tuomi 9-4,  4-9, 4-9 (38m))    

19th place  play-off:

[13/18]  IRELAND bt [19/22] IRAN 3-0
(Liam Kenny bt  Majid Rohani 9-0, 9-3, 9-2; Neal Murphy bt Mohamad Hassan Jafari 9-3, 9-1, 9-5; Arthur Gaskin bt Poya Ahmad Abadi 9-6, 9-7)    

21st place  play-off:

[13/18]  HONG KONG bt [19/22] AUSTRIA 3-0
(Dick  Lau bt Jakob Dirnberger 9-0, 9-5, 2-9, 9-1; Wai Hang Wong bt Aqeel Rehman  9-6, 9-0, 9-0; Roger Ngan bt Stefan Brauneis 9-7,  9-3)    

Semi-final Results:

[1] ENGLAND bt [5] CANADA  2-1

 lost to Jonathon Power  3-9 7-9 4-9  (52m)

Peter Nicol bt Graham Ryding  9-4 9-2 9-6 (41m)

Nick Matthew  bt  Shahier Razik 10-8 9-2 9-0  (47m)

[2] EGYPT v [3] FRANCE

Karim Darwish bt Gregory Gaultier 9/3, 9/3, 9/4 (65m); Thierry Lincou  bt Amr Shabana 0/9, 9/6, 9/3, 10/8 (71m);  Wael El Hindi bt Renan Lavigne  9/3, 4/9, 9/6, 9/6 (83m)

Quarter-final Results:
England bt  Wales  3-0
  (James Willstrop  bt  David Evans  9-4 9-7 9-4, Lee Beachill  bt Gavin Jones  9-0 9-5,  Nick Mathew   bt  Ricky Davis 9-3 9-2 9-2

Canada bt Australia 2-1  (Jonathon Power bt Anthony Ricketts 1-9 9-3 9-4 9-3, Graham Ryding lost to Stewart Boswell 3-9 7-9, Shahier Razik bt Joe Kneipp 1-9 9-7 9-1 9-5

France bt  Pakistan  2-1  (Theirry Lincou  bt  Shahid Zaman  10-8 9-3 2-9 9-4,     Gregory Gaultier  bt Mansoor Zaman  9-2 7-9 9-4 9-1, Renan Lavigne    lost to Farhan Mehboob  9-1 9-6 4-9 9-5

Egypt bt Malaysia  3-0 (Amr Shabana bt Moh Azlan Iskander 9-0 8-10 9-7 9-4, Karim Darwish bt Ong Beng Hee  W/O , Mohammed Abbas bt Mohd Mafizwan 9-0 9-0 9-0

Lower Place Play-offs:
Kuwait bt Iran 2-1
(Abdullah Al Mezayen bt Majid Rohani 9-1 9-7 9-7, Nasser Ramzy bt Poya Ahmad Abadi 9-1 9-2,  Omar Al Jamaan lost to Mohamad Hassan Jafari 6-9 3-9 6-9

Scotland bt Finland 3-0  (John White  bt  Olli Tuominen  5-9 9-5 9-6 9-1,  Harry Leitch  bt Matias Toumi   9-6 9-4, Stuart Crawford   bt   Hameed Ahmed   9-3 3-9 10-9 9-6

USA bt Ireland 2-1
Preston Quick lost to Liam Kenny 2-9 2-9 0-9, Jullian Illingworth bt  Arthur Gaskin  9-0 9-0 9-5, Chris Gordon  bt  Neal Murphy  9-3 9-6 9-6

New Zealand bt Spain 2-1 (Kashif Shuja lost to Borja Golan 3-9 5-9 9-10, Callum Brien bt David Vidal Villamide 9-3 9-3 9-3, Campbell Grayson bt Alejandro Garbi 9-5 9-1 3-9 9-3

Last 16 Play-off Results:

[8] WALES bt [13/18] GERMANY  2-1 [Alex Gough  bt  Stefen Leifels  9-8 10-8 5-9 4-9 9-7, David Evans   bt  Simon Rosner   9-4 9-1 9-0, Gavin Jones lost to Simon Baker 3-9 1-9 6-9 ]

[5] CANADA bt [10] INDIA 3-0 [Graham Ryding  bt Ritwik Bhattacharya  10-8 9-4 9-4,
Shahier Razik  bt Saurav Ghosal  10-8 9-6 9-2,  Mathew Guiffre  bt Sidharth  Suchde  9-4 9-5 ]

[7] PAKISTAN bt [9] NETHERLANDS 3-0 [Shahid Zaman bt Laurens Anjema  9-6 2-9 0-9 9-4 9-5, Mansoor Zaman   bt Dylan Bennett  9-5 9-6 9-1,  Farhan Mehboob  bt Tom Hoevenaars  9-0 9-3 ]

[6] MALAYSIA bt [12] SOUTH AFRICA 2-1 [Mohd Azlan Iskandar  bt  Rodney Durbach   9-2 9-5 9-1, Ong Beng Hee  bt  Mike Toothill  9-4 9-6 9-4, Timothy Arnold   lost to Clinton Leeuw  9-5 9-5 9-7 ]
USA bt HONG KONG  3 – 0  [Preston Quick  bt Wong Wai Hang 9-0 9-0 9-2, Julian Illingworth  bt Dick Lau  9-5 9-5 9-1, Chris Gordon  bt Roger Ngan 9-6 9-7 ]

SPAIN  bt AUSTRIA 3 – 0  [Borja Golan  bt Aqeel Rehman  9-1 9-2 9-0, David Vidal  bt Jakon Dirnbegrger  9-4 9-2 9-2, Alejandro Garbi  bt  Stefen Braunies 10-8 9-3 ]

Big Time Men's World  Team Championships
Islamabad, Pakistan


(with seeding in brackets) are:
Pool A:
[1] England, [12] South Africa, [13/18] Kuwait, [19/22] Austria
Pool B:
[2] Egypt, [11] New Zealand, [13/18] Germany, [19/22] Iran
Pool C:
[3] France, [10] India, [13/18] Ireland
Pool D:
[4] Australia, [9] Netherlands, [13/18] Finland, [19/22] USA
Pool E:
[5] Canada, [8] Wales, [13/18] Hong Kong
Pool F:
[6] Malaysia, [7] Pakistan, [13/18] Scotland, [19/22] Spain



Pool A:
[12] SOUTH AFRICA bt [13/18] KUWAIT 2-1 (Rowan Smith lost to Nasser Al Ramezi 6-9, 2-9, 4-9; Rodney Durbach bt Abdullah Almezayen 9-6, 9-5, 9-4; Michael Tootill bt Bader Al Hussaini 6-9, 9-6, 6-9, 9-4, 9-3)

[1] ENGLAND bt [19/22] AUSTRIA 3-0 (Peter Nicol bt Stefan Brauneis 9-1, 9-1, 9-2; James Willstrop bt Aqeel Rehman 9-1, 9-0, 9-0; Lee Beachill bt Jakob Dirnberger 9-4, 9-2, 9-4)

    Final positions: 1 England, 2 South Africa, 3 Kuwait, 4 Austria


Pool B:

[2] EGYPT bt [11] NEW ZEALAND 3-0 (Wael El Hindi bt Martin Knight 9-2, 9-2, 9-1; Amr Shabana bt Kashif Shuja 9-4, 9-0, 9-0; Karim Darwish bt Callum O'Brien 9-1, 9-0, 9-0)

[13/18] GERMANY bt [19/22] IRAN 3-0 (Patrick Gaessler bt Mohamad Hassan Jafari 9-3, 9-3, 9-0; Stefan Leifels bt Majid Rohani 9-2, 9-4, 9-3; Simon Baker bt Poya Ahmad Abadi 9-2, 9-3, 9-5)

    Final positions: 1 Egypt, 2 Germany, 3 New Zealand, 4 Iran


Pool C:

[10] INDIA bt [13/18] IRELAND 2-1 (Siddharth Suchde bt Brian Byrne 9-5, 9-1, 9-2; Ritwik Bhattacharya lost to Liam Kenny 7-9, 3-9, 6-9; Saurav Ghosal bt Arthur Gaskin 6-9, 9-5, 9-0, 9-1)

    Final positions: 1 France, 2 India, 3 Ireland


Pool D:

[4] AUSTRALIA bt [9] NETHERLANDS 3-0 (Joseph Kneipp bt Marc Reus 9-0, 9-1, 9-2; Anthony Ricketts bt Laurens Jan Anjema 9-3, 9-3, 9-1; Stewart Boswell bt Tom Hoevenaars 9-0, 9-0, 9-0)

[13/18] FINLAND bt [19/22] USA 2-1 (Hameed Ahmed bt Beau River 0-9, 9-7, 9-5, 9-1; Olli Tuominen bt Preston Quick 9-7, 9-0, 9-1; Matias Tuomi lost to Julian Illingworth 10-8, 9-2, 5-9, 0-9, 2-9)

    Final positions: 1 Australia, 2 Netherlands, 3 Finland, 4 USA


Pool E:

[8] WALES bt [13/18] HONG KONG 3-0 (Gavin Jones bt Anson Kwong 9-2, 9-1, 9-2; Alex Gough bt Wai Hang Wong 1-9, 9-2, 9-3, 9-4; David Evans bt Dick Lau 9-3, 9-2, 9-1)

    Final positions: 1 Canada, 2 Wales, 3 Hong Kong


Pool F:

[7] PAKISTAN bt [6] MALAYSIA 3-0 (Safeer Ullah Khan bt Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan 9-3, 9-7, 9-0; Mansoor Zaman bt Ong Beng Hee 9-6, 0-9, 9-10, 9-8, 9-3; Farhan Mehboob bt Timothy Arnold 9-4, 9-3, 9-1)

[13/18] SCOTLAND bt [19/22] SPAIN 3-0 (Stuart Crawford bt Alejandro Garbi Caro 1-9, 9-2, 9-2, 9-2; John White bt Iago Cornes 9-2, 9-5, 9-3; Harry Leitch bt David Vidal Villamide 9-7, 9-4, 10-9)

    Final positions: 1 Pakistan, 2 Malaysia, 3 Scotland, 4 Spain

Pool A:

[1] ENGLAND bt [12] SOUTH AFRICA 3-0 (Nick Matthew bt Clinton Leeuw 9-1, 9-2, 2-9, 9-3; Lee Beachill bt Rodney Durbach 9-2, 10-8, 9-0; Peter Nicol bt Rowan Smith 9-2, 9-0, 9-0)

[13/18] KUWAIT bt [19/22] AUSTRIA 3-0 (Abdullah Almezayen bt Aqeel Rehman 9-2, 9-0, 9-2; Bader Al Hussaini bt Jakob Dirnberger 9-7, 9-7, 9-2; Nasser Al Ramezi bt Andreas Freudensprung 9-6, 7-9, 9-7, 9-0)

Pool B:

[2] EGYPT bt [13/18] GERMANY 3-0 (Wael El Hindi bt Patrick Gaessler 9-3, 9-0, 9-0; Karim Darwish bt Simon Rosner 9-2, 9-2, 9-3; Mohammed Abbas bt Simon Baker 9-3, 9-0, 9-1)

[11] NEW ZEALAND bt [19/22] IRAN 3-0 (Kashif Shuja bt Majid Rohani 9-0, 9-0, 9-0; Martin Knight bt Mohamad Hassan Jafari 9-4, 9-0, 9-0; Campbell Grayson bt Poya Ahmad Abadi 9-1, 9-0, 9-0)

Pool C

[3] FRANCE bt [10] INDIA 3-0 (Renan Lavigne bt Siddharth Suchde 9-5, 4-9, 9-4, 9-2; Thierry Lincou bt Ritwik Bhattacharya 9-1, 9-1, 9-0; Gregory Gaultier bt Saurav Ghosal 9-3, 9-1, 9-5)

Pool D

[4] AUSTRALIA bt [13/18] FINLAND 3-0 (Joseph Kneipp bt Hameed Ahmed 9-3, 9-6, 9-1; Anthony Ricketts bt Olli Tuominen 9-0, 9-4, 9-0; Stewart Boswell bt Erno Teitti 9-1, 9-0, 9-0)

[9] NETHERLANDS bt [19/22] USA 2-1 (Tom Hoevenaars lost to Christopher Gordon 9-1, 8-10, 4-9, 9-6, 0-9; Laurens Jan Anjema bt Preston Quick 9-5, 9-2, 9-2; Dylan Bennett bt Julian Illingworth 1-9, 9-4, 9-5, 3-9, 9-5)

Pool E

[5] CANADA bt [8] WALES 3-0 (Matthew Giuffre bt Ricky Davies 9-5, 9-7, 5-9, 9-3; Graham Ryding bt David Evans 9-5, 9-4, 9-4; Shahier Razik bt Gavin Jones 5-9, 4-9, 9-0, 9-3, 9-3)

Pool F

[6] MALAYSIA bt [13/18] SCOTLAND 2-1 (Timothy Arnold lost to Stuart Crawford 9-3, 1-9, 10-9, 5-9, 1-9; Mohd Azlan Iskandar bt John White 9-4, 9-3, 10-8; Ong Beng Hee bt Harry Leitch 9-5, 9-0, 9-0)

[7] PAKISTAN bt [19/22] SPAIN 3-0 (Farhan Mehboob bt Alejandro Garbi Caro 9-0, 9-4, 9-3; Shahid Zaman bt Borja Golan 9-5, 4-9, 9-2, 5-9, 9-7; Mansoor Zaman bt Iago Cornes 9-3, 9-1, 9-0)

Pool A:
[1] ENGLAND bt [13/18] KUWAIT 3-0 (Nick Matthew bt Nasser Al Ramezi 9-3, 9-3, 9-3; James Willstrop bt Abdullah Almezayen 9-4, 9-2, 9-2; Lee Beachill bt Bader Al Hussaini 9-6, 9-3, 9-3)
[12] SOUTH AFRICA bt [19/22] AUSTRIA 3-0 (Rowan Smith bt Andreas Freudensprung 9-0, 9-1, 9-1; Rodney Durbach bt Aqeel Rehman 9-0, 9-1, 9-1; Michael Tootill bt Jakob Dirnberger 9-4, 9-3, 9-5)

Pool B:
[13/18] GERMANY bt [11] NEW ZEALAND 2-1 (Simon Baker bt Campbell Grayson 9-6, 10-8, 6-9, 9-5; Stefan Leifels bt Kashif Shuja 10-9, 9-10, 5-9, 10-8, 9-3; Simon Rosner lost to Callum O'Brien 9-6, 6-9, 9-7, 7-9, 7-9)
[2] EGYPT bt [19/22] IRAN 3-0 (Wael El Hindi bt Mohamad Hassan Jafari 9-0, 9-0, 9-1; Karim Darwish bt Majid Rohani 9-0, 9-0, 9-1; Mohammed Abbas bt Poya Ahmad Abadi 9-1, 9-0, 9-2)

Pool C:
[3] FRANCE bt [13/18] IRELAND 3-0 (Jean-Michel Arcucci bt Neal Murphy 9-4, 9-4, 9-1; Gregory Gaultier bt Liam Kenny 9-6, 9-1, 9-0; Renan Lavigne bt Arthur Gaskin 9-3, 9-4, 9-5)

Pool D:
[4] AUSTRALIA bt [19/22] USA 3-0 (Joseph Kneipp bt Beau River 9-0, 9-0, 9-3; Anthony Ricketts bt Preston Quick 9-6, 9-3, 9-7; Stewart Boswell bt Julian Illingworth 9-1, 9-1, 9-0)

[9] NETHERLANDS bt [13/18] FINLAND 2-1 (Marc Reus lost to Hameed Ahmed 9-10, 0-9, 6-9; Laurens Jan Anjema bt Olli Tuominen 9-7, 4-9, 9-1, 6-9, 9-3; Dylan Bennett bt Matias Tuomi 9-0, 9-3, 9-6)

Pool E:
[5] CANADA bt [13/18] HONG KONG 3-0 (Matthew Giuffre bt Roger Ngan 9-6, 9-5, 9-7; Graham Ryding bt Wai Hang Wong 9-5, 9-0, 9-5; Shahier Razik bt Dick Lau 9-2, 9-5, 9-2)

Pool F:
[6] MALAYSIA bt [19/22] SPAIN 2-1 (Timothy Arnold lost to David Vidal Villamide 6-9, 1-9, 9-3, 10-8, 2-9; Mohd Azlan Iskandar bt Borja Golan 3-9, 9-1, 9-6, 9-1; Ong Beng Hee bt Iago Cornes 9-0, 9-5, 9-0)
[7] PAKISTAN bt [13/18] SCOTLAND 2-1 (Farhan Mehboob bt Alan Clyne 9-6, 9-1, 9-2; Shahid Zaman lost to John White 6-9, 6-9, 8-10; Mansoor Zaman bt Stuart Crawford 9-2, 9-2, 9-1


Day 6:
Top Seeds England & Egypt To Meet In World Final
England will face second seeds Egypt in the final of the Big Time World Team Squash Championships after both teams survived dramatic deciders in their ties against Canada and France, respectively, in today's (Tuesday) semi-finals in Islamabad, Pakistan. 

Former world number one Peter Nicol put England ahead with a commanding 9-4 9-2 9-6 victory over the Canadian number two Graham Ryding in the opening rubber.  But James Willstrop, the new world number two, was unable to repeat the win he achieved over former world champion Jonathon Power in last week's World Open in Hong Kong.


Playing in his first world championships as the England No1, the 22-year-old went down 3-9 7-9 4-9 to Power as fifth seeds Canada levelled the tie against the top seeds.


Matthew, the world No10 from Sheffield, raced to a 5-0 lead in the opening game of the decider against Shahier Razik.  But the Canadian No3 slowed the game down and drew level at 8-8 before the Englishman reclaimed the upper hand to win the game. 


Matthew maintained his authority from the beginning of the second game and soon wrapped up a 10-8 9-2 9-0 victory to confirm England's place in the final for the first time since 1997.


Later, Egypt's second string Karim Darwish also put his country ahead, beating France's number two Gregory Gaultier 9-3 9-3 9-4 in the pair's first meeting since Darwish beat the Frenchman to win the World Junior title in Italy more than five years ago.


The battle between the two top strings brought France back into contention, as world No1 Thierry Lincou recovered from a game down to beat world champion Amr Shabana 0-9 9-6 9-3 10-8.


It took 82 minutes to resolve the decider, with Egypt's world No19 Wael El Hindi fighting back from a game down to defeat Frenchman Renan Lavigne, ranked 14 places lower, 3-9 9-4 9-6 9-6 to take Egypt into the final for the third time in six years.


In the play-offs for lower positions, hosts Pakistan went down 2/1 to Malaysia as their Asian rivals gained revenge for the earlier pool defeat.  Pakistan will now face Wales to battle for 7th place while Malaysia take on Australia in a bid to finish in the top five for the first time


Germany continued to defy their seeding after beating tenth seeds India 3/0.  Seeded in the 13/18 group, Germany will now face 12th seeds South Africa in the play-off for 9th place to achieve their best finish for eight years

Day 5:
Canada Catch Australia Cold
Colin McQuillan in
Islamabad, Pakistan
Fifth seeded Canada, having been forced to  play off with India for a place in the quarter-finals of the Big Time Men’s World Team Squash Championship in Islamabad, Pakistan, have summarily ejected the fourth seeded Australian defending champions. For only the second time the Australians will finish outside the top four. In 1977 they finished fifth behind Pakistan, New Zealand, Egypt and Great Britain.

Lacking their usual first string, David Palmer, who was banned from WSF events for one year after behaviour problems at the World Doubles in Chennai, India, earlier this year, Australia nevertheless dominated Pool D under the leadership of British Open Champion Anthony Ricketts, with former World No4 Stewart Boswell, renowned this year as the super qualifier of the PSA World Tour, at second string and the experienced Joe Kneipp at third string.

Canada, traditionally viewed as something of a two man team since the emergence of Jonathon Power and Graham Ryding, showed today that the addition of Shahier Razik and Matthew Giuffre to the squad has changed that dramatically. They had defeated Australia today even before Ryding took to the court against Boswell for the second string rubber.

They headed Pool E from the qualifying rounds but needed a 3-0 win over India in the Last 16 play-offs to make the quarter-finals.

On the notably  cold all-glass showcourt of the Roshan Khan Squash Complex, first Power and then Razik simply outmaneuvered Ricketts and Kneipp to wrap up an surprise entry to a semi-final against England. On the same frigid court the top seeds later cruised past a Welsh squad that, assuming they would have chances against Canada in the next round, rested their first string, Alex Gough. 

Power took a game to get the measure of the court and then began to find the gaps in the Australian’s increasingly disinterested rallying to win almost routinely 1-9 9-3 9-4 9-3 in 59 minutes. 

As Razik advanced in remarkably similar fashion from a game and 0-7 down against Kneipp to win  1-9 9-7 9-1 9-5    in  53  minutes, there was a wonderful moment when the two top men standing behind the court looked at each other in amazement, puzzled over how to react to the success, and finished up almost smirking at each other as they gave in to a  victory hug. 

“Canada winning with Graham Ryding. Its unheard off,” declared Power. “You could say we were not expected to win today.” He explained that front wall of the centre court at the 20-year-old Roshan Complex  was seriously unresponsive and the playing atmosphere completely dead. “We realized pretty early on that we would have to place the ball rather than hit it, aim at the nicks rather than try to rally.” 

The Australians seemed not to make the same analysis of the situation. Ricketts, normally a fearsome competitor, remained almost disconnected from the action, unable to generate any pace on the ball and unwilling to adventure much in the front court, while Power was happily shooting at the wide nicks around the grand old court. 

Kneipp became so disconcerted as the third string match slipped away from him that at one stage he was kicking at Razik’ s shoes as he passed by between services. “Joe likes to run things from the Tee normally, so I just set out to keep him away from it by lifting the ball to the deep corners and placing it into the front court with as much accuracy as I could manage,” Razik explained. “It is a great win for us and I am so pleased to have won the match that clinched it.” 

Over on the considerably warmer all-glass showcourt of the Mushaf Squash Complex, built just across the road from the Roshan complex as a venue for the World Junior Championships two years ago, Egypt tied up the other early quarter-final easily enough against Malaysia, although the new World Open Champion, Amr Shabana, oddly lost his way in mid-flight against Mohd Azlan Iskander before collecting the first string rubber 9-0  8-10 9-7 9-4  in  49 minutes. 

Egypt will play a semi-final against France, who battled past an inspired Pakistan squad in the last match of the day on the Mushaf Centre Court with Gregory Gaultier needing to steady his nerve in the deciding rubber to win 9-2 7-9 9-4 9-1 against Mansoor Zaman and several hundred Pakistani spectators

Day 4:
England to face Wales
in Quarter Finals

Colin McQuillan in Islamabad

England, the top seeds, will meet eighth seeded Wales in the quarter-finals of the Big Time World Men’s Team Squash Championship in Islamabad, Pakistan, after resting today while the Welsh battled narrowly past Germany thanks to a fighting first string  performance  from Alex Gough.


England sped into the last 16  after a comprehensive defeat of Austria on Saturday that gave them complete control of Qualifying Pool A. With all four members of the squad ranked in the world top ten; a brand new World No2, James Willstrop, at their head; and the game’s most recent dominant figure, Peter Nicol, lurking threateningly at third string, the English have dropped only a single game in their qualifying campaign, to South Africa’s Clinton Leeuw in a third string rubber against Nick Matthew.

“We were winning well enough in that match and Nick’s attention wandered in the third game. Frankly our most difficult problem is keeping a sharp competitive edge through this stage of the championship,” said David Pearson, the England National Coach. “We will have a real challenge at some point in the proceedings and we have to be ready for that.”

Today’s challenge was a visit to earthquake victims while the lower seeded squads finished juggling for quarter-final positions.

The second seeded Egyptians,
led by the new World Open Champion, Amr Shabana,  are to play Malaysia, while third seeded France, led by World No1 Thierry Lincou,
face Pakistan and the fourth seeded defending champions, Australia, meet Canada.

Pakistan, fielding a young squad led by the son and nephew of former World No2 Qamar Zaman, defeated The Netherlands today to return to the quarter-finals for the first time since Jansher Khan led a young team to six place in 1997.

The Australians, lacking their usual first string, David Palmer, who was banned from WSF events for one year after behaviour problems at the World Doubles in Chennai, India, earlier this year, have nevertheless dominated Pool D and will face Canada on Monday. If anyone doubted the competitive intent of the Australian squad playing behind British Open Champion Anthony Ricketts, they had only to watch Stewart Boswell today destroying Tom Hoevenaars 27-0 in a second string dead rubber at the end of their match against The Netherlands.

Scotland will face Finland in the play-offs towards 13th place, while Ireland face USA in the play-offs towards 17th place.

Day 3:
Hosts Pakistan Punish Malaysia

Hosts Pakistan ended their qualifying campaign in the Big Time World Team Squash Championships in Islamabad by beating sixth seeds Malaysia 3/0 in today’s (Saturday) final tie in Pool F to finish ahead of their higher-seeded Asian rivals.

After Safeer Ullah Khan put the seventh seeds ahead when he beat recently-crowned South East Asian Games champion Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan 9-3 9-7 9-0, his Pakistan team-mate Mansoor Zaman, ranked 27 in the world, clinched victory for the hosts by fighting back from 2/1 down to overcome Ong Beng Hee, ranked 11 places higher, 9-6 0-9 9-10 9-8 9-3.

India justified their tenth seeding by overcoming Ireland 2/1 to finish in second place behind France in Pool C, thereby qualifying for a place in the knockout stages for the top 12 nations.

Favourites England swept to their third successive 3/0 win in the tournament with a comprehensive victory over Austria. Former world No1 Peter Nicol, playing for the first time as third string for his country, put the top seeds ahead with a 9-1 9-1 9-2 win over Austrian newcomer Stefan Brauneis.

Team-mate James Willstrop, the new world No2 and England No1, conceded just a single point as he destroyed Aqeel Rehman to ensure England’s anticipated status as winners of Pool A.

Defending champions Australia and former champions Egypt joined fellow top four seeds France and England with further 3/0 wins today – Australia beating Netherlands to head Pool D, and Egypt crushing New Zealand to finish at the top of Pool B. All four nations receive byes in the next knockout stage of the competition.

Germany became the only surprise team to claim a place in the knockout stage to win a top 12 place. After upsetting New Zealand in the first qualifying round, Germany clinched their place in the elite group by beating Iran 3/0.

Day 2:

Scotland Fall To Malaysia In Pakistan

Scotland failed to convert a surprise first string win in today’s (Friday) second qualifying round tie in the Big Time World Team Squash Championships in Islamabad, Pakistan, and ultimately went down 2/1 to sixth seeds Malaysia to ensure that the team will finish outside the top twelve for the first time in six years.


Stuart Crawford, a 24-year-old from Edinburgh who is ranked 270 in the world,  played one of the best games of his life in fighting back from 2/1 down to beat Malaysia’s third string Timothy Arnold, ranked more than 130 places higher, 3-9 9-1 9-10 9-5 9-1.


Scotland, seeded in the 13/18 group, looked set for an upset as the hard-hitting world No9 John White took to the court against the Malaysian No1 Mohd Azlan Iskandar.  But, in his first match against the Scot, Iskandar trounced the player ranked six places higher 9-4 9-3 10-8.


In the decider, Malaysia’s former top string Ong Beng Hee, the Asian champion, easily beat 20-year-old Harry Leitch 9-5 9-0 9-0.


Elsewhere in Pool F, hosts Pakistan looked likely to join Malaysia in the play-offs for the top 12 positions when they beat Spain 3/0.


Favourites England maintained their clean sheet in Pool A with a 3/0 win over 12th seeds South Africa, while second seeds Egypt also claimed their second 3/0 win, beating Germany


The rampant defending champions Australia, the fourth seeds, crushed Finland 3/0, losing just 15 points in three matches! 

Day 1:
Top Seeds Sail Through
Opening World Encounters

The top five seeds sailed through their opening encounters unscathed on the opening day of action in the Big Time Men's World Team Squash Championships in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Favourites England despatched 13/18 seeds Kuwait 3/0 in Pool A, with 22-year-old Qatar Classic champion James Willstrop, from Yorkshire, successfully making his debut as the squad No1 by beating Abdullah Almezayen 9-4 9-2 9-2. 

Defending champions Australia, the fourth seeds, also maintained a clean sheet in Pool D as they defeated USA 3/0.

There was a first day surprise in Pool B when Germany, seeded in the 13/18 group, beat 11th seeds New Zealand 2/1.  Australian-born Simon Baker put Germany ahead by beating Campbell Grayson 9-6 10-8 6-9 9-5.  Stefan Leifels then made sure of victory with a 10-9 9-10 5-9 10-8 9-3 victory over the New Zealand No1 Kashif Shuja.  Callum O'Brien gained a consolation point for the Kiwis when he beat Simon Rosner 6-9 9-6 7-9 9-7 9-7.