Favourites England and title-holders Egypt will contest Sunday's final of the WSF Men's World Team Squash Championship after contrasting semi-finals in Paderborn, Germany.
The 23rd staging of the World Squash Federation event - the first senior world championship since the IOC announcement that Squash is on the shortlist for Olympic inclusion in 2020 - is taking place in Germany for the first time.
England, four times winners of the title since 1995, comprehensively defeated fourth seeds Australia 3/0 on the spectacular new all-blue glass court at the Ahorn-Sportpark, thereby avenging their defeat by the record eight-time champions in the play-off for third place in the 2009 championship.
England number two James Willstrop delivered his best performance of the tournament so far to despatch Cameron Pilley 11-7, 11-8, 11-2. Willstrop, the world No4, was extending his career head-to-head record over the world No14 to ten successive wins since 2007 - but played down their previous history.
"To beat someone of Cameron's ability like that is good," said the Yorkshireman. "It's also good that the match wasn't too long - to keep me fresh for tomorrow."
England now brought on their trump card, the world No1 Nick Matthew, also from Yorkshire, to face Aussie veteran David Palmer, a two-time world champion and former world No1.
Going into the match, Palmer boasted a 12-9 career lead over his English rival over exactly ten years - but Matthew had had the upper hand since last losing to Palmer in the 2007 World Team Championship.
But a fit and focussed Matthew brought down the Aussie, winning 11-5, 11-8, 11-5 in 58 minutes to take England into the final for the seventh time.
"James led the way really well - which made my life a little bit easier," said Matthew after his decisive victory. "It's never easy to play David - but that's the best I've played all season.
"But we came here not to get to the final but to win it, and that's we've got to do tomorrow."
Palmer was gracious in defeat: "He's been the world's top player for probably the past two years. It was good quality squash, but he was just too strong for me today."
Third string Peter Barker made it a clean sweep for England by beating Stewart Boswell 12-10, 11-8 in a best-of-three dead rubber.
Later in the day Egypt, the No2 seeds lined up against third seeds France in the other semi. And the underdogs took a popular lead when Thierry Lincou ended an eight-match losing sequence stretching back to November 2006 by beating world No3 Karim Darwish 11-7, 3-11, 12-10, 4-11, 11-6 in a controlled 70-minute match.
"We couldn't have asked for a much better start," said the 35-year-old former world No1 who finally seems to have put the effects of a recent injury behind him.
"Personally, I'm proud of myself - it's been a long and hard road back from injury, especially after losing first round after first round on the tour. I have had fantastic support from my friends and family and I now really feel motivated.
"Yesterday's match was a turning point for me, but this was another level above - another intensity, another pressure. I think my experience has helped me a lot."
But the French high was short-lived as top-ranked Egyptian Ramy Ashour levelled the tie with a stunning 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 victory over Gregory Gaultier, the world No6.
It was the decider that had the packed crowd on the edge of their seats, however, as Mohamed El Shorbagy and Mathieu Castagnet battled to put their countries into the final. After both players had game balls in the first, it was Egyptian El Shorbagy that drew first blood.
Castagnet struck back to take the next two games to open up a 2/1 lead - and the 24-year-old world No56 moved ahead in the fourth.
But 20-year-old El Shorbagy drew level and, after the lead changed hands in the decider, it was the world No9 from Alexandria who emerged triumphant, taking Egypt into the final for the fifth time since 1999 following his marathon 14-12, 9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6 victory in 91 minutes.
"I am so happy," said Egyptian coach Amir Wagih. "Ramy is an unbelievable player and if he can play like he did just now in tomorrow's final, England will find it very tough.
"France gave us a fantastic match and Mohamed played a great game to get us through. He will learn from this experience and it will do him a lot of good in the future
"It's another great performance by him for Egypt - he's getting more experienced all the time."
RESULTS: World Team Championship, Paderborn, Germany
 ENGLAND bt  AUSTRALIA 3/0
James Willstrop bt Cameron Pilley 11-7, 11-8, 11-2 (43m)
Nick Matthew bt David Palmer 11-5, 11-8, 11-5 (58m)
Peter Barker bt Stewart Boswell 12-10, 11-8 (29m)
 EGYPT bt  FRANCE 2/1
Karim Darwish lost to Thierry Lincou 7-11, 11-3, 10-12, 11-4, 6-11 (70m)
Ramy Ashour bt Gregory Gaultier 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (51m)
Mohamed El Shorbagy bt Mathieu Castagnet 14-12, 9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6 (91m)
5th - 8th place play-offs:
 ITALY bt  INDIA 2/1
Marcus Berrett bt Siddharth Suchde 11-5, 6-11, 11-4, 11-0 (40m)
Davide Bianchetti lost to Saurav Ghosal 5-11, 11-6, 7-11, 3-11 (51m)
Amr Ramsy Swelim bt Harinder Pal Sandhu 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8 (72m)
 MALAYSIA bt  USA 2/0
Ong Beng Hee bt Christopher Gordon 9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4 (45m)
Mohd Azlan Iskandar bt Julian Illingworth 6-11, 11-2, 11-4, 11-4 (36m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan v Todd Harrity (Match withdrawn)
9th - 12th place play-offs:
 NETHERLANDS bt [17/24] HONG KONG CHINA 2/0
Dylan Bennett bt Dick Lau 6-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-9 (45m)
Laurens Jan Anjema bt Max Lee 11-6, 12-10, 11-5 (48m)
Piedro Schweertman v Leo Au (Match withdrawn)
 GERMANY bt  FINLAND 2/1
Jens Schoor bt Henrik Mustonen 11-7, 11-9, 1-11, 11-9 (46m)
Simon Rosner lost to Olli Tuominen 12-14, 6-11, 5-11 (45m)
Raphael Kandra bt Matias Tuomi 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 (34m)
13th - 16th place play-offs:
[17/24] DENMARK bt  MEXICO 2/1
Rasmus Nielsen lost to Eric Galvez 9-11, 11-4, 11-2, 9-11, 3-11 (56m)
Kristian Frost Olesen bt Cesar Salazar 11-7, 11-8, 11-3 (36m)
Morten W Sorensen bt Erik Tepos Valtierra 11-5, 13-11, 6-11, 11-6 (55m)
 SOUTH AFRICA bt  CANADA 2/1
Clinton Leeuw lost to Andrew McDougall 3-11, 12-14, 11-3, 7-11 (52m)
Stephen Coppinger bt Shawn Delierre 11-5, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7 (58m)
Rodney Durbach bt Andrew Schnell 11-6, 11-3, 11-6 (19m)
17th - 20th place play-offs:
[17/24] SPAIN bt [17/24] KUWAIT 2/1
Alejandro Garbi Caro bt Ammar Al-Tamimi 11-9, 12-10, 11-6 (39m)
Borja Golan lost to Abdullah Al Muzayen 11-9, 4-11, 11-13, 8-11 (55m)
David Vidal bt Ali Bader Al-Ramzi 14-12, 11-7, 11-4 (42m)
[17/24] SWITZERLAND bt [25/32] IRELAND 3/0
Reiko Peter bt Derek Ryan 11-5, 9-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3 (62m)
Nicolas Mueller bt Arthur Gaskin 9-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 (48m)
John Williams bt Steve Richardson 9-11, 11-2, 11-6 (24m)
21st - 24th place play-offs:
[17/24] SCOTLAND bt [17/24] ARGENTINA 2/1
Stuart Crawford lost to Roberto Pezzota 4-11, 7-11, 9-11 (36m)
Alan Clyne bt Hernan D'Arcangelo 11-3, 11-6, 11-3 (25m)
Chris Small bt Juan Pablo Roude 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (29m)
 PAKISTAN bt  NEW ZEALAND 2/0
Yasir Butt bt Campbell Grayson 10-12, 3-11, 11-9, 11-6, 15-13 (59m)
Aamir Atlas Khan bt Martin Knight 11-4, 12-10, 11-2 (31m)
Nasir Iqbal v Evan Williams (Match withdrawn)
25th - 28th place play-offs:
[25/32] AUSTRIA bt [25/32] HUNGARY 2/1
Leopold Czaska bt Marton Szaboky 11-3, 11-6, 11-7 (27m)
Aqeel Rehman lost to Mark Krajcsak 4-11, 11-13, 10-12 (32m)
Jakob Dirnberger bt Sandor Fulop 11-9, 11-3, 11-1 (22m)
[17/24] COLOMBIA bt [25/32] KOREA 2/1
Javier Castilla Conde bt Seung-Jun Lee 7-11, 11-3, 12-10, 11-8 (50m)
Andres Vargas bt Nyeon-Ho Lee 5-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-2 (45m)
Juan Camilo Vargas lost to Se Hyun Lee 8-11, 6-11 (20m)
29th - 32nd place play-offs:
[25/32] UKRAINE bt [25/32] BERMUDA 3/0
Kostiantyn Rybalchenko bt Robert Maycock 11-7, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8 (41m)
Ruslan Sorochinskiy bt Micah Franklin 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 (32m)
Denys Podvornyi bt Chris Stout 11-2, 11-8 (20m)
[25/32] SWEDEN bt [25/32] NAMIBIA 2/0
Sebastian Victor bt Norbert Dorgeloh 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 (26m)
Christian Drakenberg bt Marco Becker 11-5, 11-5, 11-1 (24m)
Joakim Larsson v Andrew Forrest (Match withdrawn)
 ENGLAND v  EGYPT
3rd place play-off:
 FRANCE v  AUSTRALIA
5th place play-off:
 MALAYSIA v  ITALY
7th place play-off:
 INDIA v  USA
9th place play-off:
 NETHERLANDS v  GERMANY
11th place play-off:
 FINLAND v [17/24] HONG KONG CHINA
13th place play-off:
 SOUTH AFRICA v [17/24] DENMARK
15th place play-off:
 CANADA v  MEXICO
17th place play-off:
[17/24] SPAIN v [17/24] SWITZERLAND
19th place play-off:
[17/24] KUWAIT v [25/32] IRELAND
21st place play-off:
 PAKISTAN v [17/24] SCOTLAND
23rd place play-off:
 NEW ZEALAND v [17/24] ARGENTINA
25th place play-off:
[17/24] COLOMBIA v [25/32] AUSTRIA
27th place play-off:
[25/32] HUNGARY v [25/32] KOREA
29th place play-off:
[25/32] UKRAINE v [25/32] SWEDEN
31st place play-off:
[25/32] BERMUDA v [25/32] NAMIBIA
Official website: www.wmtc2011.com