After two dramatic semi-finals in the Women’s World Team Championship in Canada, 2nd seeds England will face 3rd seeds Malaysia in Saturday’s final in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
In the biggest upset of the championship, Malaysia – bronze medallists in the past four events – reached the final for the 1st time after a sensational 2/0 upset over defending champions Egypt, the favourites who boasted a squad of four players in the world’s top ten.
Former champions England claimed a new record 11th successive appearance in the final after surviving 2/1 against Hong Kong China – semi-finalists for the first time ever.
In a battle on the stunning ASB all-glass showcourt described by event MC Vanessa Atkinson, the former world champion, as “the match of the tournament”, underdogs Malaysia took the lead when world number one Nicol David beat Egypt’s world No.3 Raneem El Welily 11-3, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9 in 54 minutes.
“She’s so on the ball – I had to work really hard,” said the jubilant David who extended her unbeaten record in the event since 2004 to 32 matches. “I’m just so pleased to get a point for Malaysia.
David then sat back as team-mate Low Wee Wern, a fellow Penangite who is ranked seven in the world, took on Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini, the world No.4 from Alexandria who boasted a 2-1 head-to-head record over the Malaysian.
After the first two games were shared, Wee Wern came out fighting in the third to reclaim the lead after dropping just two points. But former world junior champion El Sherbini refused to buckle and took the fourth, and led 3-0, 5-3 and 7-6 in the decider. Wee Wern pulled back three points for 9-7 to lead for only the second time in the match – but El Sherbini rallied to bring the score to nine-all. At the first match-ball for Wern, it was a stroke which finally signalled the historic win for Malaysia as Wern raised her arms in victory and quickly became engulfed by her ecstatic team-mates.
“It’s amazing to be in the final for the first time,” said an overwhelmed Wee Wern after her 11-9, 8-11, 11-2, 7-11, 11-9 triumph in 86 minutes. “The Egyptian girls really gave it their all.
Egyptian team coach Omar Elborolossy was not too despondent: “I’m so proud of my girls – they gave their best efforts. Nicol played one of the best matches I have ever seen and Wee Wern definitely played her best match ever.
Semi-finals: (all ties played in team order 1, 2, 3)
 MALAYSIA bt  EGYPT 2/0
Nicol David bt Raneem El Welily 11-3, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9 (54m)
Low Wee Wern bt Nour El Sherbini 11-9, 8-11, 11-2, 7-11, 11-9 (86m)
 ENGLAND bt  HONG KONG CHINA 2/1
Laura Massaro bt Annie Au 11-7, 13-11, 11-4 (35m)
Alison Waters lost to Joey Chan 4-11, 11-8, 9-11, 3-11 (43m)
Sarah-Jane Perry bt Tong Tsz-Wing 10-12, 11-5, 11-3, 11-8 (40m)