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Ibrahim, Farhan set up final showdown

December 10, 2018

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KARACHI: Pakistan’s Farhan Mehboob and Asim Khan in action during their semi-final at the CNS Open Squash Championship on Sunday.—APP
KARACHI: Pakistan’s Farhan Mehboob and Asim Khan in action during their semi-final at the CNS Open Squash Championship on Sunday.—APP

KARACHI: Egypt’s unseeded Youssef Ibrahim seems destined for maiden glory in Pakistan when he faces third seed Farhan Mehboob in the final of 13th CNS International Squash Championship at the PN Roshan Khan-Jahangir Khan Squash Complex on Monday.

The semi-finalist of the DHA Cup, Ibrahim, who is making waves, reached a sixth final of the year by getting the better of seventh seed Shahjahan Khan of Pakistan straight 11-8, 11-4, 11-3 in the first semi-final that lasted little over half-an-hour on the penultimate day.

Farhan, on the other hand, fought courageously to stun second seed Asim Khan in the other all-Pakistan pre-final 12-10, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8 in 54-minutes on Sunday.

With five titles under his belt this year, the 19-year-old left-hander Ibrahim who toppled Arturo Salazar, the top-seeded Mexican in the quarter-final the other day, maintained his pace against Quetta-born Khan who had won a PSA Tour at Canada last month.

The Egyptian, who was ranked 130 last month, has leaped 59 places to attain 71st slot in the latest PSA rankings.

It is pertinent to mention that Khan had made it to the last four demolishing fourth seed Ammar Altamimi of Kuwait in quarters on Saturday.

Contrary to the first semi-final, the second was fought fiercely with Farhan who was 2-1 up in the match making comeback from 2-7 down in the fourth game to wrap up the match and create a minor upset.

Farhan, whose career best world ranking was 16 in May 2009 and has now slipped to 77, was in the best nick and gave a tough time to Asim and earned most of his winners through backhand shots.

Needing just one game to win after surging 2-0 up in the best of five match Farhan came under pressure and was extended losing the third.

Farhan, who was on verge to losing the fourth game also showed grit and turned the tide in his favour to post a commendable win.

The final between Youssef Ibrahim and Farhan Mehboob will be played on Monday at 1.40pm. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi will grace the occasion.

Results:

Semi-finals: Youssef Ibrahim (Egypt) bt Shahjahan Khan (Pakistan) 11-8, 11-4, 11-3, Farhan Mehboob (Pakistan) bt Asim Khan (Pakistan) 12-10, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8.

Monday’s fixture: Youssef Ibrahim (Egypt) vs Farhan Mehboob (Pakistan) (final) at 1.40pm.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2018