The New Zealand men’s squash team have won a hard-fought contest in their 5/8 playoffs at the WSF World Team Championships in Marseille, France this morning and will now battle the home country for fifth and sixth place.
The Kiwis were pushed all the way by India but managed a 2-1 victory after another marathon match for top player Paul Coll.
With New Zealand down 0-1 after Ben Grindrod from Tauranga had lost to Mahesh Manaokar 4-11, 7-11, 5-11 in the opening match Coll came from two games down to win over world No.16 ranked Sauray Ghosal in 70 minutes in five games.
The 25-year-old from Greymouth who entered the event with a world ranking of No.9 eventually won 7-11, 11-13, 12-10, 11-4, 11-1 to force the tie into a third match.
Auckland’s Campbell Grayson then won in four games 11-8, 13-15, 11-1, 11-4 in 51 minutes to secure the victory and retain the teams sixth seeding with the opportunity to finish fifth, although France will be difficult.
The French are led by world No.1 Gregory Gaultier with their remaining two players ranked within the top 30 in the world. Coll and Gaultier clashed in a match last month with the Frenchman narrowly winning in five games.
The championship final will be between the top two seeded teams Egypt and England.