ISLAMABAD - Pakistan female players have done a tremendous job as they beat strong China 2-1 to move a step closer to the quarterfinals of the Buler 17th Asian Senior Squash Team Championship in Hong Kong on Thursday.

Pakistan male players beat Korea and Macau to enter the quarterfinals where they will take on Iran today (Friday).

It was a historic day in Pakistan female squash, as highly underdogs beat mighty Chinese girls in a nail-biting encounter. Pakistan’s future medal hope Sammer Anjum and Maria Toor carved out sensational victories after seasoned campaigner Muqaddas Ashrfa lost her important match to give Pakistan 2-1 victory.

Talking exclusively from Hong Kong, Pakistan team head coach Jamshed Gul said: “It was a wonderful moment to watch my female team played superb squash. They played well beyond my expectations against a team, which is far experienced than Pakistani women.”

Sammer Anjum started proceedings against Duan Si Yu. Sammer entered the match with a very positive frame of mind and completely dominated in the entire match. She won the first game 11-4, second 11-4 and third 11-5 to give Pakistan 1-0 lead. Maria Toor then played the second match against Li Dong Jin. Maria had to dig deep to finish off Li, who gave a tough fight to Maria before going down fighting 3-1. Maria won the first game 11-8, lost second 7-11, won third 11-7, and fourth 11-2 to give Pakistan an unassailable 2-0 lead. Muqaddas Ashraf played the third rubber, which had no impact on overall outcome of the tie against Gu Jin Yue. Muqaddas right from the very first game looked off colored and lost the match 0-11, 5-11, 6-11.

Today (Friday) is very important day. Pakistan has to play two matches, in the first match of the day, Pakistan will face Iran and in the second match, they will vie against arch-rivals India, who lost against Hong Kong on Thursday.

As far as males are concerned, they completely demolished both their opponents, first Korea in the morning and then Macau in the evening session, winning both the matches 3-0. Pakistan’s most capped player Farhan Mehboob played the first tie against Korean Yoo Jae Jin. Farhan won the first game 11-4, second 11-6, and third 12-10.

In the second match, Farhan Zaman beat Lee Seung Joon. Farhan took as usual took a slow start which gave advantage to Lee, who managed to take a healthy lead, but gradually Farhan settled down and after leveling the things, he took the game 13-11. Farhan wasted a little time to take the second game 11-5 and third 11-7 to give Pakistan tie. Danish Atlas played the dead rubber against Hwang Joong Won. Danish won the first game 11-9, second 11-2 and third 11-9.

In the evening session, Pakistan beat Macau 3-0. Danish was given rest and top player Nasir Iqbal was included in the side. In the first match, Farhan Mehboob took on Van Keng Hei. Farhan won the match 11-2, 11-5 and 11-6. Nasir Iqbal played second match against Steven Liu. Nasir was at the peak of his game so he demolished Liu 11-1, 11-6 and 11-2. Farhan Zaman played the third and last match against Armando Amante and won it 11-9, 11-1 and 11-3.

“Pakistan will take on Iran in the quarterfinals today (Friday). Kuwait is Pakistan’s most likely opponent in the semifinals, although it will be a very tough match against Kuwait keeping in mind they have two world class players, but we are ready for the task ahead. I am confident my boys will not disappoint and ready for the challenge ahead,” Jamsehd concluded.