ISLAMABAD     -    Pakistan’s wonder girl Mahoor Shehzad kept the country in title hunt, as she reached the finals of both girls’ singles and doubles in Younex Sunrise Pakistan International Badminton Series Tournament 2019 here at Rodham Hall on Saturday.

Pakistani males’ crashed out of the tournament as last night hero Murad Ali also bowed out the quarterfinal stage. Total 12 countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Nepal, Maldives, Czech Republic, Mauritius, Canada, Malaysia, Thailand, USA and Pakistan, are participating in this event.

Mahoor provided the jam-packed arena something to cheer about, as she was up against Maldives’ Neela Najeeb in a keenly-contested battle, where both the girls showed their potential and skills and fought for each and every point till the end. In the first game, Neela settled down well and started dictating her terms, but Mahoor never lost hope and kept on fighting, while the charged-up crowd was also right behind her.

Mahoor then started playing her natural aggressive game and it proved to be a see-saw battle, as both the girls were not ready to concede. It was 16-16, 17-17 and then 18-18, but at that stage, Mahoor changed the gears and played some sensational backhands and kept Neela on the run, which helped her take the first game 21-18.

The second game started with both the players once again exchanging top class badminton skills and fighting for each and every point, but after playing so well, Neela all of a sudden ran out of gas, as Mahoor’s powerful returns and sensational smashes were too hot to handle for her opponent. Mahoor wasted very little time to dispose of Neela and took the game 21-11, thus made her way into the finals.

Soon after the victory, Mahoor bowed down in the middle of the court to pay thanks to Almighty, while the entire PBF management rushed to congratulate Mahoor on her outstanding triumph. Mahoor will take on top seed Iranian Soraraya Aghaeihajiagha in the final to be played today (Sunday) here at 9:30am.

In the other semi-final, it was Iranian Soraraya Aghaeihajiagha against former seven-time Pakistan champion Palwasha Bashir. Although Palawasha is out of action for a long period, yet she put up a decent fight and gave her all before bowing out. Soraraya won the first game 21-14 and went onto take the second 21-15.

It was double delight for Mahoor as she also made it to the women’s doubles final. In first semifinal, Bushra Qayyum/Mahoor Shehzad teamed up to beat Maldives pair of Maisa fathuhulla Ismail/Neela Najeeb 2-1 in three hard fought games, winning the encounter 21-17, 11-21, 21-18. They set up final date with another Maldivian pair of Aminath Nabeeha Abdl Razzaq/Fathimath Nabeeha Abdul, who had beaten Pakistani pair of Sehra Akram/Huma Javed in the second semifinal, winning the match 21-16, 21-12.

In the men’s singles first semifinal, Georges Julien Paul of Mauritius beat Howard Shu of USA 2-1, winning 21-14, 14-21 and 21-7, while in the second semifinal, Thailand’s Saran Jamsri beat Pakistan’s lone representative Awais Zahid 2-1 in a hard-fought encounter, winning it 21-17, 18-21 and 21-14.

In the men’s doubles first semifinal, Dipesh Dhami/Ratnajit Tamang (NEP) beat M Attique/Raja M Hassnain 21-18 and 21-15 while in the second semifinal, Thailand’s pair of Tangsrirapeephan/Apichasit Teerawhwat beat Pakistani pair of M Irfan Saeed/Azeem Sarwar 21-19 and 21-12.

In mixed doubles first semifinal, Dipesh Dhami/Amita Giri (NEP) beat M Ali Larosh/Ghazala Siddique 21-15, 18-21 and 21-17, while in the second semifinal, Maldives pair of Hussein Zayan Shaheed/Fathimath Nabeeha Abdul Razzaq beat Abdul Rehman/Saima Waqas 21-14 and 21-13.