Ghosal goes down fighting
A Saturday evening when the city chose to stay indoors watching India play Sri Lanka in the cricket World Cup final, a host of Calcutta Racket Club regulars turned up as if bound by duty to support Saurav Ghosal, who took on world No.3 Karim Darwish of Egypt in the semi-final of the Kolkata International PSA squash championship.other Updated: Apr 03, 2011 00:57 IST
A Saturday evening when the city chose to stay indoors watching India play Sri Lanka in the cricket World Cup final, a host of Calcutta Racket Club regulars turned up as if bound by duty to support Saurav Ghosal, who took on world No.3 Karim Darwish of Egypt in the semi-final of the Kolkata International PSA squash championship.
Not that they had fetched up anticipating Ghosal would script the biggest upset of his career. All they wanted to see was the boy they saw learning the ropes here put up a fight. Ghosal did not disappoint. And had the opening game gone in his favour, who knows? But that did not happen and Darwish coasted to the final where he will meet second-seed Omar Mosaad in an all-Egyptian final.
Ghosal matched Darwish shot for shot and, after trailing 0-3, caught up with the Egyptian at 7-7. Ghosal retrieved almost every ball with amazing agility. Darwish, to the delight and at the same time despair of the crowd, brought to the court an array of variations and guile that justified his top billing. Tied at 9-9, a ‘stroke’ went against Ghosal, a decision that looked slightly harsh, and Darwish followed that up with a perfectly played drop to steal the first game.
Ghosal came back guns blazing in the second and from 4-4 opened up a 10-4 lead. He kept the ball in play and mixed it up with a range of drops and boasts. Darwish helped Ghosal’s cause with a couple of mistimed shots that hit the tin.
But a lot changed after with games level and scores tied at 2-2 in the third. Ghosal tripped on Darwish’s heel and crashed into the wall bruising his knee. He did take a three-minute time-out to apply ice, but the break did not help his cause. Darwish got some time to himself to ponder and what followed was sheer class.
“I thought Ghosal likes to play in these conventional courts a lot better. I played him in Malaysia two weeks back and won a lot easily,” Darwish said.