ISLAMABAD-It was a day to remember for Pakistan squash as Tayyab Aslam gave crowd something to cheer about when he ousted 6th seed Egyptian Mazen Gamal 3-1 in 68 minutes of top class squash on offer in the $25,000 12th Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) International Squash Championship match here at Mushaf Squash Complex on Wednesday.

Tayyab started the first game on a very high note and kept Gamal under check and took the first game 11-9 in 12 minutes. After displaying such commanding display in the first game, Tayyab lenient approach allowed Gamal to play freely and win the second game 11-6 to level the match at 1-1. In the third game, Tayyab was enjoying 4-0 lead but then score was 7-3, 7-5 and then 8-7, but Tayyab then once again managed to wrap up the game 11-8.

The real contest was witnessed in the fourth game where Tayyab was simply running away with the game and match while Gamal was shouting and looking clueless. Tayyab took 7-4 lead, before it was 9-7, but after coming so close, Gamal bounced back to level the score at 9-9. Tayyab had first match point, when he was serving at 10-9, but Gamal survived first game point to make it 10-10. Tayyab against had opportunity to seal the fate of the match as he was serving at 11-10, but Gamal once again levelled at 11-11. It was third time Tayyab got opportunity to wrap up the game at 13-12, but Gamal saved third match point. Gamal was once again remained lucky as Tayyab missed another golden opportunity at 13-12, but finally it was fifth time, when Tayyab took the game 15-13 in 25 minutes of breath-taking squash on offer.

The sizable crowd cheered for each and every moment of the fourth game and after this game, they gave standing ovation to Tayyab, who somehow saved the blushes of PSF, as there were only two other Pakistani players left in the event. Tayyab will face Egyptian Zahed Mohamed in the quarterfinal.

In other matches of the day, top seed Egyptian Omar Abdel Meguid beat wildcard recipient Asim Khan 3-0 in hard fought three games in 43 minutes with the scores of 11-9, 11-8 and 11-9. Omar set up quarterfinal date with compatriot Youssef Soliman. In the third match, Egyptian Youssef Soliman beat Australian Rex Hedrick 3-1 in 1 hour and 14 minutes with the scores of 11-4, 6-11, 11-8 and 11-8.

Pakistan stylish player Farhan Mehboob recorded 3-0 upset victory against Nederland’s Piedro Schweertman. It was a treat to watch, as Mehboob was in full flow and taught squash lesson to Piedro. Mehboob won the first game 11-4 and won the second game 11-3. Piedro did put up decent fight in the third game before Mehboob sealed the fate winning the game 11-7 to complete routine victory in just 23 minutes.

It is highly unfortunate for local crowd and Pakistan squash that two of the best hopes of winning the title Farhan Mehboob and Farhan Zaman will clash against each other in the quarterfinal, but it also ensures at least one Pakistani will play in the semifinals.

Farhan Zaman hammered Jamaican Christopher Binnie 3-0 in 34 minutes. Farhan took the first game 14-12 and was in supreme control in the second game which he won 11-5. Farhan was comfortably placed in the third game leading 7-2, but he committed too many unforced errors, which resulted in Binnie close the gap to 6-7. It was see saw battle as both the players fought well till the end, before Farhan finally prevailed and took the game 13-11. American Todd Harrity thrashed local hope Abbas Shoukat 3-0 in 27 minutes. Todd won the first game 11-9, second game 11-6 and third game 11-4 to set up quarterfinal date with Peter Creed.

Peter Creed of Wales best Egyptian Shehab Essam 3-1 in 62 minutes. Creed won the first game 12-10, second game 11-8, lost the third 10-12 but won the fourth game 11-7. In the last encounter of the day, Egyptian Zahed Mohamed overcome a fighting Ahsan Ayaz 3-1 in 48 minutes. Zahed won the first game 11-8, second game 11-7, lost the third 9-11, but won the fourth game 11-9.

Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Training & Evaluation Rear Admiral Moazzam Ilyas HI (M) graced the opening ceremony as chief guest and awarded prize money to the players and tournament souvenirs to the referees.