It was a mixed day for India in the semifinals of the Asian Team Squash Championship as the women waltzed past top seeds Hong Kong while the men went down fighting to Pakistan on Saturday.
The good news came early in the day for the women with Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal showing why they are a force to reckon with in world squash. Both won and that helped India shock Hong Kong and storm into the final.
They next face Malaysia, to whom they had lost in the group stage.
"It will be a revenge match. The girls are gearing up for this challenge," said national coach Cyrus Poncha.
After Sachika Ingale failed to keep her slate clean, losing to Liu Tsz Ling without much resistance, it was left to Joshna not only to shore up India's stock but inspire her colleague Dipika to touch her best.
Joshna did not put a foot wrong in taming the Hong Kong number one Annie Au, who at rank 10 was three rungs above the Indian. Aggression was Joshna's ploy from the start and with clever drives and drops left her rival clueless, winning in straight games.
The onus was now on Dipika but the star player made a mixed start against Joey Chan, who was winner when the two met last two years ago in the Asian Championship. The Indian led 10-8 in the first game but from game-ball position, lost and the inspired Hong Kong player went on to grab the next game too.
The experienced Dipika brought out her fighting side and in a jiffy changed the game's complexion by bagging the next two games with explosive drives and astute drops.
She completed a brilliant comeback by winning decider to send India through to the final.
However, that was not the case in the men's section. India without a spearhead like Saurav Ghosal started on the defensive against Pakistan.
Velavan Senthilkumar was the first to play against the experienced Farhan Mehboob. The youngster did well, even took a game but the Pakistani had the upperhand.
Harinder Pal Sandhu next was again outstanding and beat the higher-ranked Farhan Zaman. All depended on Kush Kumar but being 2-1 in game scores and running close in the fourth game, he could not capitalise. India, thus, like last time, settled for the bronze.