Top 12 still the target after a win and a loss on day one of the teams event at the World Champs.
New Zealand remains on target to make the top 12 knockout stage after the opening day of pool play at the World Junior Men's Team Squash Championships in Doha.
The Kiwi side proved too good for Iraq in their opening tie, cruising to a 3-0 victory with all three matches won in straight games.
Zac Millar set the standard for New Zealand, thrashing Iraqi number two Saifuldeen Ahmed Salman 11-2, 11-6, 11-1 in just 15 minutes. Kiwi number one Jonathan Barnett then sealed the tie with a hard fought 11-8, 13-11, 11-9 win over Mohammed Ferman Hasan. That left Todd Redman to complete the whitewash, and he didn't disappoint with an 11-4, 11-1, 11-9 win against Faisal Assim Khudair.
However, it was a different story for New Zealand in their second tie, where they came up against the powerful second seeded Pakistan line-up. Zac Millar was rested for the tie and the trio of Barnett, Redman and Ben Grindrod were beaten 3-0. Redman battled hard against Syed Hamzah Shah Bukhari but went down 11-5, 11-5, 11-4 and Barnett also couldn't be faulted for effort despite an 11-5 11-2 11-6 scoreline against Nasir Iqbal. Grindrod then showed New Zealand's strength in depth as he came close to snatching a game off Tayyab Aslam, but ultimately lost 11-3, 13-11, 11-3.
New Zealand coach Paul Hornsby is pleased with the team's efforts on day one, in particular their first up victory over Iraq.
"It was the perfect match to settle the nerves - all of the boys were happy to win in 3. Zac and Todd weren't really tested at 2&3, but Jonny had to perform well at 1. He played very accurate squash for the most part and chose the right times to attack. He faced 2 game balls at 8-10 in the second, but played these rallies very solidly to get the all important 2 game cushion."
New Zealand will now play South Africa in the final round of pool play tomorrow with the winner joining Pakistan in the top 12.
11)New Zealand def 19/23)Iraq 3-0
2)Zac Millar def Saifuldeen Ahmed Salman 11-2, 11-6, 11-1 (15 mins)
1)Jonny Barnett def Mohammed Ferman Hasan 11-8, 13-11, 11-9 (34 mins)
3)Todd Redman def Faisal Assim Khudair 11-4, 11-1, 11-9 (20 mins)
11)New Zealand lost to 2)Pakistan 0-3
2)Todd Redman lost to Syed Hamzah Shah Bukhari 5-11, 5-11, 4-11 (23 mins)
1)Jonny Barnett lost to Nasir Iqbal 5-11, 2-11, 6-11 (20 mins)
3)Ben Grindrod lost to Tayyab Aslam 3-11, 11-13, 3-11 (25 mins)
Official tournament site...www.wsfworldjuniors.com