Liam Pitchford helped England beat Austria 3-0 to top their group at the ZEN-NOH ITTF Team World Cup and move into the quarter-finals, where their opponents will be Chinese Taipei.
After Paul Drinkhall and Tom Jarvis had beaten Andreas Levenko and Daniel Habesohn 3-2 (11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9) in the opening doubles, Pitchford was next up against world No 33 Robert Gardos.
The match also went the distance, with Gardos saving two match points in the fourth games, before Chesterfield’s Pitchford showed his class to complete a 3-2 (11-8, 12-14, 11-5, 11-13, 11-4) victory.
Drinkhall’s 3-0 (11-8, 11-3, 11-9) over Habesohn sealed the victory and, having beaten Japan in their first match, England went through as group winners.
They will face Chinese Taipei at 4am UK time on Friday. They beat their opponents 3-1 at last year’s World Team Championships, with Pitchford winning his two singles matches.