Paul Drinkhall, Sam Walker and Liam Pitchford turned in brilliant performances as England sunk second seeds Germany at the World Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur today.

All three beat players ranked above them, with Drinkhall starting the ball rolling with a 3-2 victory over world No 39 Bastian Steger. But the Germans levelled when world No 42 Ruwen Filus beat Pitchford 3-1.

Sam Walker turned in arguably the best performance of his career, the world No 159 from Worksop defeating Patrick Franziska, ranked No 43, in four sets.

And Pitchford bounced back from his earlier defeat to overcome Steger 3-1 as England clinched it 3-1.

“I knew Bastian was under pressure, Germany was down two-one and in the first match, he had lost to Paul,” Pitchford told the ITTF website. “I’ve played him in the German Bundesliga but I’ve lost more times than I have won against him.”

Drinkhall added: “It was a close match, 3-2; here I’ve been struggling with my form but today I felt better than yesterday. I feel I played well and I was dominating the match, I was ahead two-one but in the fourth game I became sloppy; the fifth game was really close.”

And Walker said after his match: “I had played Patrick in the German Bundesliga and won, so I came into the match with some confidence but not too much; he’s a great player. Yesterday helped, I won my first match; today I went 2-0 ahead, I felt I was in a good rhythm, I think the key was to stay close and play fast.”

It means England match Germany’s record with two wins and two defeats. They face hosts Malaysia in their final group match tomorrow at 5am UK time.

There was good news in the women’s event as well as England beat Canada 3-1 to maintain their 100% record.

Within that run, Kelly Sibley also has an unblemished record as two more victories saw England home after Tin-Tin Ho had put them ahead, while Karina Le Fevre was edged out 3-2 in Match 3.

England have four wins from four, the same record as group top seeds Serbia and the two clash in the final group match tommorrow, 8.30am UK time.


Men’s Championship Division
Group B
England 3 Germany 1
Paul Drinkhall beat Bastian Steger 3-2 (6-11, 11-5, 11-7, 2-11, 11-8)
Ruwen Filus bt Liam Pitchford 3-1 (11-4, 3-11, 11-5, 12-10)
Sam Walker bt Patrick Franziska 3-1 (11-6, 11-5, 12-14, 11-4)
Pitchford bt Steger 3-1 (11-8, 11-7, 4-11, 11-8)

Women’s Second Division
Group E
England 3 Canada 1
Tin-Tin Ho bt Anqi Luo 3-0 (11-6, 11-7, 11-5)
Kelly Sibley bt Ivy Liao 3-1 (7-11, 11-2, 11-5, 12-10)
Justina Leung bt Karina Le Fevre 3-2 (11-13, 11-9, 11-3, 6-11, 11-9)
Sibley bt Luo 3-0 (11-5, 11-5, 11-4)