The day's playing pattern was 3-1-2 which meant that the team's third placed players played first © Getty Images (representational photo)
The day’s playing pattern was 3-1-2 which meant that the team’s third placed players played first © Getty Images (representational photo)

Taipei: India began on a positive note with both the men’s and women’s teams essaying easy wins in their respective group league openers in the Asian Squash Championship which got underway here today. The Indian men defeated Philippines and the women got past Singapore, both by an identical 3-0 margins. The day’s playing pattern was 3-1-2 which meant that the team’s third placed players played first. For India Akanksha Salunkhe thus took the court first and she had a close match against Singapore number three Sneha Vijaykumar. The Indian junior was confident to start with, won the first two games but got into some knots in the third and fought a close fourth game to bring India a 1-0 lead.

Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal then followed in that order and stamped their class against Nur Adiwiyah and Sherilyn Yang Hui Xian respectively to make it a comfortable outing for India. In the men’s section, Philippines made it a hard fight but India had the wherewithal to make it a simple win. Velavan Senthilkumar made the start, was initially overawed and dropped the first game but came back remarkably to sail past Rafa Yam. Harinder Pal Sandhu returning to big competition, looked comfortable even if he dropped a game against Robert.

Kush Kumar next however signed off with a solid 3-0 victory over Reymark to complete the good work. Tomorrow, India has two matches in the men’s section, first against Japan and later in the day against Macao. The women play the crucial match against Malaysia.

The results: Men: India beat Philippines 3-0 (Velavan Senthilkumar bt Rafa Yam 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-1; Harinder Pal Sandhu bt Robert Garcia 11-4, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7; Kush Kumar bt Reymark Begornia 11-2, 11-1, 11-4 );

Women: India bt Singapore 3-0 (Akanksha Salunkhe bt Sneha Vijaykumar 11-4, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10; Joshna Chinappa bt Nur Adiwiyah 11-7, 11-4, 11-6; Dipika Karthik bt Sherilyn Yang Hui Xian 11-7, 11-4, 11-3).