Double delight for Harinder Pal

Mumbai: India`s No 3 and top seed Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu helped himself to a double crown in the first NSCI Open Squash Championship 2011 here.

Sandhu, the CCI-Western India runner-up, beat Sandeep Jangra of the Services 12-10 11-9 11-8 in an exciting clash that lasted an hour. Jangra came up with a surprise challenge to make every set a close contest as Sandhu held on to take it away.

Later, Sandhu added the doubles crown, along with state mate Ravi Dixit, as the pair beat cousins Sandeep and Vikas Jangra in straight sets.

Saumya Karki, who won a double at the CCI-Western India last week, continued to dominate the circuit by winning the women`s title with an exciting 9-11 11-5 11-3 11-9 victory over arch-rival Urvashi Joshi of Jindal Squash Academy, after surprisingly dropping the opening set and enduring a tight fourth set.

But the toast of the day was CCI lad Ness Billimoria, who lit up the finals, after going down fighting to top seed Vrishab Kotian of Tamil Nadu in a four-set thriller in the under-19 final.

Trailing 1-2, Billimoria gave the favourite a scare in the crucial fourth set that went down to the wire with Kotian snatching a nail-biter at 17-15.

While Akanksha Salunkhe of Goa completed a rewarding campaign by winning the girls under-13 crown, it was a rich haul for Tamil Nadu`s talented posse of players as Adithya Raghavan, Sandeep Ramachandran, Mayuri N and Professional Aiyappan Parthiban emerged victorious in their respective categories.


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