England were assured of a minimum of two silver medals after Jenny Duncalf and Alison Waters came out victorious in the first two women's quarter-finals and Nick Matthew and Peter Barker prevailed in the early last eight men's matches of the Commonwealth Games squash event here today.
Waters, the third seed from London, defeated 12th seeded New Zealand's Joelle King 12-10 9-11 11-5 10-12 11-2 in an hour-long battle, while team-mate Duncalf ended the hopes of another New Zealander seventh seed Jaclyn Hawkes 11-8 11-4 12-10 in 40 minutes at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.
For the world number four Waters, it was her second victory over the Kiwi this year.
"I've only played Joelle once before but I knew she'd be tough," said 26-year-old Water. "She hits the ball well and hard. When I changed things around and brought in a bit of variety, it all came together for me. I'm glad to get through winning that last game. I've had more experience than Joelle, and I think that was the key in the fifth.
"It's exciting to be in the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games. It would be great to play Duncalf in the semis as at least one of would get a medal," added Waters.
Duncalf, after her match, said: It's always good to get through in three. I was pleased not to go to a fourth (game)."
When asked if she was inspired by her team-mate's earlier win, the second seed replied: "Yes, it's great to see your compatriot do well. There's a great togetherness about the squad - we all look out for each other."
Londoner Peter Barker became the first man to earn a place in the semi-finals when he recovered from a game down to beat eighth seed Australian Stewart Boswell 10-12, 11-9, 11-3, 11-3.
Boswell, in his third appearance in the Games, was two points away from taking the second game when Barker stepped up the pace of his game to record a 73-minute victory.
"That was tough and I was fortunate to win the second game. If he'd won that, it would have been really tough to come back," admitted the third seed Barker.
"But after winning the second, I got the required confidence," he added.
Barker will now line up against England team-mate Nick Matthew, the event favourite, for a place in the final. World number two Matthew secured his first straight games win of the tournament when he overcame Australia's seventh seed Cameron Pilley 11-7 11-5 11-6.
"It's definitely the best I've played this week - but I needed to against somebody like Cameron," said an upbeat Matthew. "I knew I had to start well. It's getting better each day. I was moving a lot sharper around the court today."