ISLAMABAD: Top seed Annie Au and Sivasangari Subramaniam qualified for the final of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) International Women Squash Championshiphere at the Mushaf Squash Complex on Thursday.
The first semi-final between Hong Kong’s Au and Rowan Elaraby of Egypt was a highly thrilling encounter. The first game proved a nail-biter which Au eventually managed to win 13-11.
Making an impressive comeback, the 17-year-old Elaraby bagged the second game 11-8 and improved her fine show to pocket third game 11-5.
Then came another twist as a rejuvenated Au recovered magnificently to clinch fourth game 11-8 and take the battle into the fifth game. Brimming with confidence, Au completely dominated her opponent in the decisive game from the very beginning and easily seized it 11-2.
Air Marshal Shahid Akhtar Alvi, senior vice-president of the Pakistan Squash Federation, was the chief guest of the match. Former world champion and legendary Qamr Zaman also witnessed the decider.
In the other semi-final, Malaysia’s Subramaniam won the opening game against veteran Rachael Grinham of Australia 11-9.
Subramaniam then consolidated her lead by winning the next two games 11-7, 11-5 to easily book her place in the all-important final.
Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada, the chief guest, and squash icon Jahangir Khan witnessed this semi-final.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Open Men’s Squash Championship reached the semi-finals stage.
Top seed Marwan El Shorbagy of Egypt outclassed compatriot Mazen Hesham 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 in the quarter-final as the former displayed superb strokeplay giving his rival no chance of a comeback.
The second quarter-final was played between Egyptian third seed Zahed Mohamed and Malaysian Eain Yow Ng. Showing better skills, Zahed won the first game 11-9 and then consolidated his position by taking the second game 11-8.
The Malaysian made a fine comeback winning third game 11-6. However, in an exciting fourth game Zahed kept his nerves to seize it 11-9 to book his place in the semi-finals.
The other two last-eight matches were nail-biting affairs.
Hong Kong’s Leo Au defeated compatriot Max Lee in a marathon five-game battle lasting 70 minutes.
Though both the players competed hard but Lee, because of an injury, retired in the last game with the score at 5-4.
Leo Au was declared winner with game scores 13-11, 4-11, 11-8, 7-11, 5-4.
In the last quarter-final, second seed Mohamed Abouelghar of Egypt overwhelmed Malaysia’s Mohamed Nafiizwan Adnan 8-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7.
Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2017