Chennai: World junior number one Dipika Pallikal and third seed Saurav Ghosal kept alive Indian hopes sailing into the women`s and men`s semifinals respectively in the 15th Asian Squash Championship.
Pallikal, ranked 38 in WISPA list, was the cynosure of all eyes as she took just 32 minutes to beat Misaki Kobayashi of Japan 12-10 11-8 11-6.
In the semi-final tomorrow, Pallikal, however, has a remote chance of progressing to the summit clash being drawn to play world number one and defending champion, Nicol David of Malaysia, while Rebecca Chiu (Hong Kong) take on her compatriot Joey Chan in the other last four stage tie.
Ghosal too runs into defending champion and top seeded Mohd Azlan Iskander of Malaysia while the other men`s semifinal would be between Pakistanis Aamir Atlas Khan and Yasir Ali Butt, who created a major upset disposing of second seed Ong Beng Hee (MAL) 10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9.
Ghosal defeated Farhan Mehboob 11-7, 11-1, 11-6 in 35 minutes, Iskander quelled a fighting Kuwaiti Abdulla Almzayen 13-11, 11-7, 12-10 in 50 minutes and Atlas Khan ousted Mohd Nafizwan (MAL) 12-10, 11-8, 11-5 in the quarterfinals.
Earlier in the morning, the progress of three other Indian players Siddharth Suchde, Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu and Ritwik Bhattachrya was halted by higher ranked rivals.
Sandhu went down fighting to Yasir Ali Butt (Pak) 11-8, 7-11, 6-11, 7-11, while Bhattacharya lost to Beng Hee 7-11, 8-11, 6-11. Suchde (ranked 80) took a 2-0 lead but lost his way thereafter against Nafizwan, who won 11-13, 11-13, 13-11, 11-8, 11-8 in a marathon 106 minute match.