Squash: MacLean recovers against the odds

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The Independent Online
MARK MacLEAN was decidedly off colour at lunchtime, saved seven match points around tea time, and ended the day with the best win of his career yesterday.

The Scottish No 1 had described his chances as '400 to one' before playing the second- seeded Australian Rodney Martin, yet survived three final games of continual brinkmanship to reach the quarter-finals of the Allied Bank/CAA Pakistan Open by beating the former world champion 8-15, 11-15, 15-13, 17-16, 17-15.

MacLean, who said he had been ill four times after consuming a soft drink, wondered whether or not he would be able to play. 'But I didn't feel too bad once I got on to the court and didn't feel any worse as the match went on,' he said.

Martin relaxed his grip after obtaining a two-game lead and MacLean responded by going for every possible volley drop and sudden kill. Nevertheless the London-based world No 15 from Edinburgh had to survive two match points in the fourth game and even trailed 9-14 in the fifth before making his improbable escape.

MacLean's victory substantially enhances Jahangir's prospects of reaching the final in his comeback tournament. Jahangir, the 10 times British Open champion, beat England's Danny Meddings 15-7, 15-13, 15-6 while the other great Khan, world champion Jansher, reached the quarter- finals after an ugly incident between his opponent Austin Adarraga and the referee Gogi Alauddin.

Alauddin, a former world No 2, awarded a code of conduct penalty point against Adarraga for delaying and arguing, and after his straight games defeat the Australian-born Spaniard attracted dozens of spectators by a engaging in a shouting match with Alauddin in the concourse of the Roshan-Jahangir Club.

Two other Britons, Peter Marshall and Simon Parke, also reached the quarter-finals, with Parke, the former world junior champion, defeating England's eighth seed Chris Walker.

Results, Sport in Short, page 35