THE balance of power in Asian squash shifted from Malaysia to India after the national men's and women's teams crashed out in the semi-finals of the Asian Team Championships in Kuwait on Friday.
A Pakistan team with only one recognisable name in Farhan Mehboob eliminated the Malaysian men 2-0 although the women put up a fight before going down to defending champions Hong Kong 2-1.
India made both finals after beating Kuwait 2-0 to set up a mouth-watering men's final against Pakistan while their women defeated South Korea 2-0 as Malaysia were unable to cope without top players Azlan Iskandar, Ong Beng Hee and Nicol David.
National coach Peter Genever praised the women's effort where Delia Arnold attempted a futile rescue act by saving a slew of match points but felt let down by the men.
"It was a disappointing result as the men lost 2-0 to a motivated and hungry Pakistan side buoyed by their vociferous crowd. The women also lost but the improvement from (Thursday's 2-0 defeat to India) was spectacular," said Genever.
Siti Munirah Jusoh gave Malaysia a 1-0 lead by beating Hong Kong's Liu Tsz Ling 17-15, 11-3,11-9 but Annie Au evened the score for the defending champions with an 11-4, 14-12, 11-4 win over Low Wee Wern.
The decider went all the way with Delia twice going a game-up on Joey Chan but failed to capitalise on two of her own match points in the fifth game in a 8-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-2, 16-14 defeat.
Pakistan defeated Malaysia after Farhan Mehboob overcame Asian champion Nafiizwan Adnan 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9 and World No 122 Nasir Iqbal beat Ivan Yuen 12-10, 10-12, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4. By Devinder Singh