Saurav Ghosal ensured surprise home interest in the second round of the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters in India after upsetting higher-ranked US champion Julian Illingworth in today's first round of the ninth and final PSA World Series squash event of the year at the Siri Fort Complex in New Delhi.
The Kolkata-born 25-year-old arrived in the Indian capital direct from Chennai where he endorsed his status as the country's number one player by winning the Indian national title for the sixth year in a row.
Currently ranked 29 in the world, Ghosal went into his match against world No28 Illingworth with a 1/0 lead in previous Tour meetings - albeit more than four years ago, when both were ranked outside the top 40.
And spurred on by local fans, Ghosal survived a close first game before overwhelming the record seven-time US champion Illingworth 12-10, 11-4, 11-2 in 42 minutes to claim his first appearance in the last 16 of a PSA World Series event this year.
Based in the UK city of Leeds, Ghosal later saw his town-mate James Willstrop secure his place in the second round. But England's new world No2 - who could become the world number one by winning the $165,000 Delhi event - found himself a game down against Nicolas Mueller before going on to beat the rising Swiss star 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-5 in 45 minutes.
A further pair of Englishmen made it through to round two - after straight games successes. Seventh seed Daryl Selby, the world No16 from Essex, held off a stiff challenge from Mohammed Abbas, beating the former world No13 from Egypt 11-4, 11-7, 11-9.
"Got a 3-0 win in today - but happy because Abbas is a very talented player," tweeted Selby after his win.
Peter Barker, the fifth seed from London, edged closer towards recording his ninth successive World Series quarter-final appearance this year when he beat Finland's Olli Tuominen 11-4, 11-4, 11-1 in just 25 minutes.
Top seed Ramy Ashour, the former world number one from Egypt who is making his return to the PSA World Tour after sustaining a hamstring injury in last month's World Open, needed four games to overcome Malaysian Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan.
The 24-year-old from Cairo, who already has three 2011 World Series titles to his credit, battled back from a game down to beat Adnan, ranked more than 30 places lower, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-9.
RESULTS: PSA World Series Punj Lloyd PSA Masters, New Delhi, India
1st round (lower half of draw):
 James Willstrop (ENG) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-5 (45m)
Alister Walker (BOT) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 11-5, 11-6, 11-5 (28m)
Simon Rosner (GER) bt Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) 11-7, 11-6, 11-4 (34m)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Mohammed Abbas (EGY) 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 (33m)
 Peter Barker (ENG) bt Olli Tuominen (FIN) 11-4, 11-4, 11-1 (25m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Julian Illingworth (USA) 12-10, 11-4, 11-2 (42m)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt Jonathan Kemp (ENG) 11-5, 9-11, 11-4, 13-11 (55m)
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-9 (42m)
2nd round line-up:
 Karim Darwish (EGY) v Tom Richards (ENG)
 Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) v Borja Golan (ESP)
 Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS)
 James Willstrop (ENG) v Alister Walker (BOT)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) v Simon Rosner (GER)
 Peter Barker (ENG) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
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