Thursday February 22, 2024

Pakistan trio marches into CAS Squash semis

December 03, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Local players (men) enjoyed a day in the sun at the Chief of the Air Staff-Serena Hotels International Squash Championship at Mushaf Squash Complex as all but one foreigner could survive going into Sunday’s semi-finals.

Ibrahim Elkabbani (EGY) was the only visiting player making it to the semis as Nasir Iqbal led the local onslaught with Noor Zaman and Asim Khan completing the last four-stage line-up of the US$9000 event.

Representational image. — AFP File
Representational image. — AFP File

Young Noor Zaman stopped 6th seed Mohamed Nasser (EGY) 11-9, 1-11, 11-5, 11-2 to earn a place in the semis. Barring the second game where Noor was seen going out of rhythm, he dominated the proceedings, making it increasingly difficult for Naseer to cope with the pressure. Noor looked dominant in the third and fourth game to seal his place in the semis.

His top-of-the-court shots were too hot to handle for the Egyptian. Noor has now set the date with top seed Ibrahim Elkabbani who prevailed over Malaysian Ong Sai Hung in straight games 11-5, 11-7,11-5.

Pakistan No 1 seed Muhammad Asim Khan accounted for Khaled Labib also from Egypt 11-9, 11-8, 12-10. The match lasted for 44 minutes. Asim was lucky to have won the match in straight games and had it been a five-game quarter-final, the chances of his emerging winner were far lesser. The No. 2 seed will now take on compatriot Nasir Iqbal who looked in exciting form.

Nasir came back from one game down to beat Amaad Fareed (PAK) 7-11, 11-1, 11-5, 11-4. Nasir played with his usual flare and guts, making it difficult for Amaad to win repeated points. His exciting down-the-line shots backed with front-court winners were like asking too much from Amaad.

“I will make my best effort to win the event. A good performance here will help me improve my PSA ranking. I am confident to play the final and to get better of Asim in Sunday’s semis,” Nasir said.

The $ 6000 women’s final is an all-Egyptian affair as top seed Nadien Elhammamy, Nour Ramy, Amina el rihany, and Nour Khafagy all made it to the last four-stage.

Nadien Elhammamy had a tough outing against Chan Yiwen (Malaysia) before prevailing 12-10, 3-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-1.


Men (quarter-finals): Ibrahim Elkabbani (EGY) bt Ong Sai Hung (MAS) 11-5,11-7,11-5 (27 min), Noor Zaman (PAK) bt Mohamed Nasser (EGY) 11-9, 1-11,11-5, 11-2 (38 min), Nasir Iqbal (PAK) bt Amaad Fareed (PAK) 7-11, 11-1, 11-5, 11-4 (38 min), Muhammad Asim Khan (PAK) bt Khaled Labib (EGY) 11-9, 11-8, 12-10 (44 min)

Women (quarter-finals): Nadien Elhammamy (EGY) bt Chan Yiwen (MAS) 12-10, 3-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-1 (50 min), Nour Ramy (EGY) bt Sana Bahadar (PAK) 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (15 min).