ISLAMABAD            -        Pakistani squash players once again made the country proud, as they won the 13th South Asian Games squash team event defeating archrivals 2-1 in the final held in Kathmandu, Nepal on Tuesday.

While Pakistani women squash team won silver medal as they lost 1-2 in the final against India. Pakistan finished fourth with total 131 medals. The men in green grabbed total 31 gold medals, 41 silver medals and 59 bronze medals. Syed Muhammad Asif won silver medal in the 52kg boxing while Zeshan Akber and Azher Hussain won bronze medals in swimming.

It was Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam against Harindar Pal of India in the first match, which was repeat of the individual final, when both the players took each in the title decider and Tayyab had won it 3-1. Same happened again as Tayyab prevailed once again and won the encounter 3-1. Tayyab, who is known as slow starter, lost the first game 5-11. He bounced back in great style in the second game, winning it 11-6. The third game saw Tayyab simply outclassing his opponent with his powerful shots, winning it 11-4.

The fourth game was arguably the best of the entire event. Harindar was not ready to concede so easily, while massive crowd support was also right behind him. Although he was playing in Nepal, yet locals were backing him and pushing him to stage comeback, which helped him take comfortable lead. But Tayyab steadily stage a comeback in the game and won it 12-10 to give Pakistan crucial 1-0 lead.

But as witnessed in the past, Asim Khan, who is known for gifting opponents easy matches, once again failed to deliver when it mattered the most for the country, as he lost against Pardhan 2-3. Asim lost the first game 9-11, won the second 11-4 and lost the third 4-11. He fought back well to win the fourth game 11-5 but badly lost the fifth game 4-11.  Asim’s loss put the entire burden on the shoulders of time-tested genius Farhan Mehboob to carry forward nation’s hopes. He lived up the expectations and clinched gold medal for the country. Farhan played like a true maestro and simply thrashed Abhay Singh 3-0 in just 34 minutes. He took the first  game 11-8, struggled hard to grab the second 12-10 and comfortably won the third 11-5.

In the women final, Kuruvilla Sunayana Sara beat Muqaddas Ashraf 3-0 in 19 minutes, winning the encounter 11-5, 11-8 and 11-9. But Madina Zafar kept Pakistan in the final, as she beat Vata Sanya 3-0 in 27 minutes, winning the crucial match 11-9, 13-11 and 11-7. In the title decider, Tanvi Khanna beat Faiza Zafar 3-1 in 30 minutes to give India team gold. Tanvi won 11-5, 4-11, 11-4 and 11-5.