Tenth seed Kashif Asif (Pakistan) caused a major upset in the SNGPL Pakistan International Squash Circuit-II 2018 when he stunned No 2 seed Israr Ahmad (Pakistan) in the main round at the Punjab Squash Complex on Wednesday.
Kashif, who was a wildcard holder in the tournament, started the match exceptionally and put Israr under tremendous pressure right from the beginning, which paid dividend as he succeeded in beating one of the top seeds after a tough fight. Kashif won the first game 11/8, but Israr then utilized his vast experience to take the second game 11/9. Kashif once again played superb squash and won the third game 11/9 before losing the fourth one 11/3.
In the fifth and decisive game, it was Kashif who displayed prevailed over Israr and won the game 11/6 to register an upset and well-deserving victory in 49-minute battle.
In other matches of the main round all the seeded players registered victories except Danish Atlas Khan, who was once among top seeds and returned Pakistan squash after a long gap. One of the finest players of Pakistan squash Farhan Mehboob (Pakistan) took just 17 minutes to outclass Bilal Zakir (Pakistan) 11/3, 11/5, 11/8 while another top Pakistani player Farhan Zaman had to struggle hard to beat Zahir Shah (Pakistan) 4/11, 12/10, 11/8, 11/4 in 34 minutes.
Tayyab Aslam (Pakistan) edged past Khawaja Adil Maqbool (Pakistan) 11/4, 11/4, 11/8 in 18 minutes, Asim Khan (Pakistan) defeated Waqar Mehboob (Pakistan) 12/10, 0/11, 11/9, 11/5 in 39 minutes, Syed Azlan Amjad (Pakistan) routed Umair Zaman (Pakistan) 11/9, 11/7, 11/8 in 23 minutes, Amaad Fareed (Pakistan) faced tough resistance from Ali Bukhari (Pakistan) before winning the encounter by 11/9, 11/2, 9/11, 9/11, 11/5 in 51 minutes.
In the last encounter of the day, Ahsan Ayyaz (Pakistan) proved too good for Danish Atlas Khan (Pakistan), who had high aims of becoming one of the Pakistan team members and help in win the international medals, but his dreams were dashed by spirited Asim Khan who outlasted Danish by 11/9, 10/12, 11/6, 11/8 in the 68 –minute marathon match.
In the senior women main round, all the seeded players advanced to the next round after displaying quality squash skills and finest techniques. It was only Madina Zafar, who was unseeded player and won her encounter against Noor-Ain-Ijaz with a score of 11/6, 11/5, 11/3 in just 11 minutes.
Saima Shaukat (Pakistan) played well against Amna Fayyaz (Pakistan) and defeated her by 11/6, 11/8, 5/11, 5/11, 11/9 in 30 minutes while Noor Ul Huda (Pakistan) outsmarted Aiman Shahbaz (Pakistan) by 11/8, 11/5, 12/10 in 11 minutes, Faiza Zafar (Pakistan) downed Komal Khan (Pakistan) by 11/3, 6/11, 11/4, 11/1 in 21 minutes, Zahab Khan (Pakistan) overpowered Sibgha Arshad (Pakistan) by 11/5, 11/7, 11/8 in 20 minutes.
Another top player of women’s squash, Riffat Khan (Pakistan) proved too hot for Anam Mustafa Aziz (Pakistan) as she took just 14 minutes to overwhelm her opponent by 11/8, 11/0, 11/5 while another spirited player Zoya Khalid (Pakistan) also displayed quality squash and outclass Moqaddas Javed (Pakistan) by 11/6, 11/6, 11/2 in just 16 minutes.
The quarterfinals of men and women events will be contested at all the three well-renovated courts of the Punjab Squash Complex on Thursday. APP