KARACHI: Pakistan were crowned Asian Team Squash Champions after beating India 2-0 in the men’s finals in Kuwait on Saturday.
Pakistan’s Farhan Mehboob and Farhan Zaman won their respective matches against their Indian opponents to grab the title, despite the absence of the country’s leading squash player Aamir Atlas Khan.
Zaman faced India’s Siddharth Suchde in the first match of the best-of-three final, where he made a confident start to take a 2-0 lead. Suchde, however, staged a comeback and levelled the match at two sets all. The final set saw a close contest between the two South Asian rivals before Zaman clinched victory with a 11-9 score.
India, looking for a win in the second match to keep their hopes alive, were relying on their top-ranked player Saurav Ghosal to overcome Pakistan’s Mehboob.
Peshawar-born Mehboob got the match underway by winning the first set 11-7 but was soon trailing as Ghosal fought back to take a 2-1 lead. Mehboob, ranked 15th in Asia, was quick to stage a recovery against the fourth-ranked Ghosal and took the last two sets to ensure a title win for his country.
Besides Mehboob and Zaman, Pakistan’s four-man contingent included Nasir Iqbal and Saqib Yousuf.
This is the second team squash title for Pakistan in less than two years, after they won gold at the Asian Games in Guangzhou (China) in November 2010.
Earlier, India won the women’s team title after beating Hong Kong.
Results Men's team final Farhan Mahboob (PAK) beat Saurav Ghosal (IND): 3-2 [11-7, 6-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9]
Farhan Zaman (PAK) beat Siddharth Suchde (IND): 3-2 [11-6, 11-7, 11-13, 7-11, 11-9]
Women's team final Joshna Chinappa (IND) beat Joey Chan (HK) 3-2 [ 11-3, 11-8, 8-11, 5-11, 11-8]
Dipika Pallikal (IND) beat Annie Au (HK) 3-0 [11-8, 12-10, 11-8]