ISLAMABAD - Defending Asian Team event champions Pakistan qualified for the semifinals of the 16th Asian Senior Squash Team Championship after thrashing number 3 seeds Hong Kong 2-0 in the quarterfinals on Thursday, this was revealed by Wing Commander Abdul Wahab, Secretary Pakistan Squash Federation in an exclusive talk with The Nation on Thursday.

He further said, the hard work of head coach Jamshed Gul and the brilliant display by our young guns bore fruit and Pakistan team despite playing against much senior opponents, who had much higher world rankings then our lads, managed to crush Hong Kong 2-0, Nasir Iqbal was pitted against Lee, who is currently world number 61, Farhan Mehboob played against Max who is world number 36, our boys performed exceptionally well.

He further said, both Nasir and Farhan took 4 games each to beat their respective opponents, but it was truly a remarkable performance keeping in mind our team consists of mainly young players, who are playing for the first time at this level, they still performed up to the expectations and beat Asian number 3 ranked team.

In the first match Nasir Iqbal beat Lee 11-8, 5-11, 11-8 and 11-9, in the second match Farhan Mehboob beat Max 11-3, 6-11, 11-7 and 11-9.

Pakistan will face number two seed Malaysia in the first semifinal today, the match will start at PST 8:00pm, while number 1 ranked team India will meet Kuwait in the second semifinal also be played today.

Earlier Pakistan started their defense of title against China on May 1, in the first match Saqib Yousaf beat Li Zhiyuan 11-3, 11-3, 11,2, in the second match Farhan Mehboob beat Wang Junji 11-1, 11-3, 11-4 and in the last match Farhan Zaman beat Shen Jaaqi 11-5, 11-3, 11-3.

In the second pool match played on Pakistan beat Sri Lanka 3-0, Farhan Zaman beat Saman Thilakalatha 11-1, 11-7, 11-8, Nasir Iqbal beat Gihan Suwaris 14-12, 11-5, 11-5, in the third match Saqib Yousaf beat Dilshan Gunawarden 11-1, 11-6, 11-6.

In the second of the day, as Pakistan had to play two matches on same day Pakistan lost 2-1 to hosts Kuwait, who got the support of a vocal crowd and our boys were feeling too tired as they had to play two matches same day.

In the first match Pakistan’s brightest lad on the squash horizon Nasir Iqbal beat Saleem Fayaz 11-8, 11-8, 11-4, Farhan Mehboob lost to Abdullah Alanzyen 6-11, 6-11, 8-11 and in the third and deciding match Farhan Zaman although played exceptionally well but still lost in 4 games to Ammar Altainni 11-8, 7-11, 7-11 and 7-11.

If things went right for us and players played according to their potentials I am sure we will manage to beat Malaysia in the semifinal, a confident Wahab concluded.