England kept their World Team Championships alive as a 3-0 victory over Australia in their final group match saw them go into the last 16 as one of the best third-placed nations.

Sam Walker, Liam Pitchford and David McBeath all won to set up a tie against France in the last 16 on Wednesday.

Walker (pictured above) was first on court and began slowly against Nicholas Lum, ranked 42 in the world, as he trailed 1-5 in the first. He worked his way back to 7-7 and 9-9, but lost the first 11-9.

That spurred him into lifting his game and he opend healthy leads in the next two before converting them 11-8 and 11-7. The fourth say him lead 7-4 but trail 7-8, but four points in a row clinched the match.

Pitchford was always likely to be too strong for Yonghun Lee (WR 106) and it proved so as he won in three straight (5, 7, 7).

McBeath on paper had the harder task, as his opponent Finn Luu is ranked 145 – 246 places above McBeath.

It went the distance as McBeath responded to losing the first by opening a 10-0 lead in the second, winning it 11-1, and then converting his second game point (having also saved one) to take the third 13-11.

Luu levelled by winning the next two points from 9-9 in the fourth, but the decider proved one-sided as McBeath led 5-0 at the change of ends and went on to win 11-3.

England and India went through as the highest-ranked third-placed teams, and were drawn to face the top two seeds. As India had already played second seeds France in the group stage, they were handed a tie against China, while England face France.

The match is at 12.30pm UK time, on Table 3. Watch on the WTT YouTube channel.

The tie brings back memories of the quarter-final in Kuala Lumpur in 2016, which England won 3-2 to clinched that memorable bronze medal.


England 3 Australia 0
Sam Walker bt Nicholas Lum 3-1 (9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8)
Liam Pitchford bt Yonghun Lee 3-0 (11-5, 11-7, 11-7)
David McBeath bt Finn Luu 3-2 (4-11, 11-1, 13-11, 9-11, 11-3)