India’s Harinder Pal Sandhu finished runner-up at the New Zealand International classic, a PSA world tour event at Palmerston North on Sunday. Sandhu, the top seed at the event, went down against the second seed.
The Malaysian Ivan Yuen, though below the Indian in PSA rankings played with lot of aggression to script a 11-8, 11-7, 2-11, 11-7 win for the title.
Sandhu, who has been named in the Asian Games squad for the second consecutive edition, enjoyed a good outing in the run up. Sandhu started the tournament against Ong Sai Hung with a convincing straight games win before finding a major hurdle in the quarterfinal where seventh seeded Malaysian, Adeen Idrakie stretched him to five games 11-4, 7-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8. The semi-final was relatively easier against another Malaysian, fourth seed Mohd Syafiq Kamal with Sandhu racing to a 11-4, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8 win.
The final, against the world No 71, proved to be a tough nut to crack for Sandhu. The 50th-ranked Indian will play the supporting role to Saurav Ghosal at the upcoming Asian Games in Jakarta.