PESHAWAR - Pakistan No 1 Aamir Atlas Khan and No 2 Nasir Iqbal were crashed out of the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) International Squash Championship after their shocking defeats in the semi-finals here at Hashim Khan Squash Complex on Friday.
In the first semifinal, Farhan Zaman overcame Nasir Iqbal 3-2 in a highly entertaining squash witnessed by a jam-packed crowd. Farhan won the first game 11-5 and in the second game, Fahnan was leading 10-3 but Nasir then bounced back and first leveled it 10-10 and then went on to take it 12-10. In the third game, Farhan started to play with more authority and played natural and aggressive game which helped him win the third game 11-5.
The fourth game started at a very high pace. Nasir took the lead 9-3, but then Farhan fought gallantly and came close to 6-7 but unforced errors cost him dearly and he lost the game 11-7. In the fifth and deciding game, Nasir could not get the benefit from the unforced errors committed by Farhan. It gave confidence to Farhan who took full advantage of Nasir's inability to carry the momentum and raced on to 5-2 lead. Nasir then showed glimpses of his game and playing superb class made the score 6-5, but he again failed to capitalize on Farhan's countless errors and handed over the initiative back to Farhan, who duly obliged and took the decisive game 11-6, thus booking a place in the second consecutive final in as many appearances. Asif Khan was the chair referee while Imran and Asim were the side referees.
In the second semifinal, Pakistan's top-ranked player Aamir Atlas Khan was again thrown out of the finals as he failed to beat his younger brother Danish Atlas Khan in a one-sided affair.
Danish ripped apart Aamir in the first game losing just one point, winning it 11-1 in just seven minutes. Aamir did managed to win the second game 11-7 in 10 minutes, but he was looking tired while Danish, on the other hand, was at the peak of his game. Aamir took a healthy 7-2 lead in the third game and was looked all set to take it but Danish showed tremendous fighting spirit and first leveled the game 7-7 then went on to take it 11-8.
Aamir was not able to move and was just standing and returning the ball in the fourth game. Danish gave to much respect and liberty to elder brother and did not create too much problems for out of form brother. Danish managed to take the fourth game 11-9, thus set a final date with Farhan Zaman which will be played today (Saturday) at 3:15pm.
Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) senior vice president Air Vice Marshal Syed Razi Nawab was the guest of honour on the occasion while secretary Aamir Nawaz, head coach Jamshed Gul Khan, PAF Director Sports Group Captain Shahid Nadeem, head of referees Mahboob Khan along with other dignitaries and sizable crowd also witnessed the matches.
Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Ather Hussain Bukhari will grace the final as chief guest and distribute prizes among the players. It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan is hosting $15,000 tournament after a gap of almost eight years.