Nasir Iqbal thrashes second seed Asim Khan in Pakistan Int’l Squash Tournament quarters

By: Mohsin Ali      Published: 08:38 PM, 9 Dec, 2020
Nasir Iqbal thrashes second seed Asim Khan in Pakistan Int’l Squash Tournament quarters
Rushna Mehboob plays a shot against Madina Zafar.

Former world number 35 and ex-Pakistan number one squash player, Nasir Iqbal made huge upset in the $12000 Pakistan International Squash Tournament 2020, as he thrashed second see Asim Khan 3-1 in the quarterfinals played here at Mushaf Squash Complex on Wednesday.

While in the other quarterfinals, top seed and Pakistan number 1 Tayyab Aslam had to dig very deep to overcome a spirited challenge from Pindi boy, M Farhan Hashmi, winning 3-1, Israr Ahmed beat Waqas Mehboob 3-0 and in the last quarterfinal, Ammad Fareed hammered former Pakistan number 1 Farhan Zaman 3-0 in 25 minutes.

In the Women $6000 quarterfinals, Amna Fayyaz beat Anum Mustafa Azai 3-0, Madina Zafar beat Saima Shoukat 3-0, Muqaddas Ashraf beat Noor Ul Huda 3-0 and in the last quarterfinal, Faiza Zafar thrashed Rushna Mehboob 3-0.

In the men’s quarters, Nasir Iqbal was up against second seed Asim Khan. It is the very first international event for Nasir after serving a bitter and harsh 4-year ban. Nasir, who had won eight $1000 Satellite tournaments, was looking well on course to register straight forward victory.

 Farhan Hashmi plays a shot against Tayyab Aslam.

After the tough first game, in which Asim showed fighting skills and kept on pressing Nasir hard, Asim went out of gas and Nasir took the game 11-9. In the second game, it was all Nasir who completely dictated terms and kept Asim under enormous pressure and took the game 11-2. Nasir started the third game on the same pace and raced onto taking 5-2 lead but due to some highly controversial refereeing, Asim managed to stage a comeback in the game. He first levelled the game at 5-5 and then went onto taking 10-7 lead. Nasir saved two game points before losing the game 7-11.

The fourth game also started at a fast pace as both players displayed top class squash. Nasir was seemingly very upset by the highly pathetic refereeing and was given conduct warning by the referee. Nasir’s coach, Tahir Iqbal was continuously urging Nasir to cool down and focus on his game. Nasir responded in style and started to play his natural game. He kept Asim on the run to all corners of the court. Asim, who has gained weight, was looking tired and was unable to move freely. Nasir, sensing the Asim’s condition, started to apply more pressure and his plan worked wonders as he won the game 11-5, thus winning the encounter in 42 minutes and booked a semi-final date against Ammad Fareed.

In an earlier quarterfinal, Tayyab Aslam was taken to limit by young Farhan Hashmi, who although lost the match 1-3, but won many hearts. Surprisingly it was Hashmi, who won the first game 11-7, but after that shock, Tayyab recovered well and took the second game 11-9, third game 11-5 and fourth game 11-5 to won the encounter in 32 minutes to set semis date with Israr Ahmed, who beat Waqas Mehboob 3-0 in 23 minutes, winning 11-3, 11-3 and 11-8.

In the last quarterfinal, Ammad Fareed hammered Farhan Zaman in straight games, winning 11-8, 11-7 and 12-10 in 25 minutes.

In the ladies quarterfinals, Amna Fayyaz beat Anum Mustafa Aziz 3-0, winning 11-4, 11-5 and 11-7 in 16 minutes, Madina Zafar beat Saima Shoukat 11-8, 13-11 and 11-11-4 in 27 mins, Muqaddas Ashraf best Noor Ul Huda 11-8, 11-9 and 11-3 in 17 minutes and Faiza Zafar beat Rushna Mehboob 11-5, 11-5 and 11-4.

Top seed Amna Fayyaz will take on third seed Madina Zafar in the first semifinal, while Muqaddas Ashraf faces second seed Faiza Zafar in the second semifinal.