Pitchford leads England into last four at Worlds

Women's 1/4 at the Perfect 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships,28 Feb 2016 - 06 Mar 2016, Kuala Lumpur, MAS
Women's 1/4 at the Perfect 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships,28 Feb 2016 - 06 Mar 2016, Kuala Lumpur, MAS

Liam Pitchford led England to a 3-2 win over France in the quarter-finals of the World Team Championships.

The Chesterfield table tennis ace won his two matches against Emmanuel Lebesson and Simon Gauzy, while Gauzy beat Paul Drinkhall and Tristan Flore defeated Sam Walker as England gained revenge for a 3-0 defeat to France in the group stage.

Women's 1/4 at the Perfect 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships,28 Feb 2016 - 06 Mar 2016, Kuala Lumpur, MAS

Women's 1/4 at the Perfect 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships,28 Feb 2016 - 06 Mar 2016, Kuala Lumpur, MAS

Drinkhall won a nerve-shredding final match, beating Lebesson 3-2 (15-13, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 13-11), taking his fifth match point and also saving one to set up a last-four clash with Japan on Saturday.

England - into the final four - are the last surviving European nation in Kuala Lumpur, with China facing Korea in the other semi-final.

The England players are also picking up vital ranking points in the race to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

Scores:

Simon Gauzy bt Paul Drinkhall 3-0 (11-9, 11-8, 11-8)

Liam Pitchford bt Emmanuel Lebesson 3-0 (11-8, 11-6, 11-9)

Tristan Flore bt Sam Walker 3-1 (11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7)

Pitchford bt Gauzy 3-1 (12-10, 19-21, 11-9, 11-9)

Drinkhall bt Lebesson 3-2 (15-13, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 13-11)