By SHAMAOMA MUSONDA –
SEVENTH seed Kundanji Kalengo at the weekend caused a major upset after defeating second seed Mwinga Lengwe in the quarterfinals of the Super Eight Squash Championship held at the Lusaka Club.
Going into the game as an underdog, Kalengo, of Zambia National Service (ZNS), took the bull by the horns against a highly rated Lengwe, fighting for every ball thrown at him and then tossing the more illustrious opponent all over the court before taking the game 3-1.
This tough match saw Kalengo claiming the first set before Lengwe crawled back to take the second but the ZNS player kept his steel nerves to take the next two games and a place in the semi-finals with set scores of 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6.
Kalengo was by press time yesterday expected to take on Tanzania-based Enos Mwale, who also won a four set thriller against Ngosa Musonda of ZNS.
Mwale actually showed his class after losing the first set went in and dug deep into his reserves to take the next three sets and eventually the game with set scores of 4-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8.
The other two quarter-finals saw top seed and favourite Manda Chilambwe of Lusaka Club take an easy win over ZNS’ Chris Mulubwa with a 3-0 score with set scores of 11-6, 11-4, 11-8.
Chilambwe’s reward for the easy win will be a semi-final date with Nkana’s Frank Wabo, who came through a tough quarter-final match in which he beat former national champion Kafwimbi Nkole from Ndola Squash Club.
Wabo, who came through the junior ranks of Nkana Squash club, beat Nkole 3-1 score with Zambia squash Association (ZSA) fixtures secretary Jeff Musonda saying the tournament was bringing out the best of the Zambian players.
“The games are quite competitive and we are seeing a rise in the standards. We are seeing a lot more players at the top as you saw Kalengo causing an upset when he beat Lengwe while Frank Wabo defeated Kafwimbi Nkole,” he said.
Lusaka Club Squash Section Secretary Chitumba Simukonda expressed happiness with the levels of competition saying squash was showing signs of going up again.
“I must praise the Zambia Squash Association executive for being proactive about the game. It is a good sign and I can ask them to continue. The standards here are high and competitive,” he said.