ISLAMABAD - Defending champions Pakistan thrash Iran 3-0 to book a semifinal place against Kuwait in the Buler 17th Asian Senior Squash Team Championship in Hong Kong on Friday

In the first quarterfinal, Nasir Iqbal beat Muhammadreza Sadeghpour 3-0 in one-sided affair. Nasir won 11-6, 11-3 and 11-5 to give Pakistan a perfect start. In the second and most important fixture, Pakistan's seasoned campaigner Farhan Mehboob defeated Sanaee M Huassein. It was a match between the highly experienced and virtually a new comer. Farhan teach a squash lesson to the youngster by taking the match in straight sets 11-4, 11-4 and 11-3 ensuring a place in the semis. Third match was not played, as it was a dead rubber as far as outcome of the tie was concerned.

Meanwhile, bad referring denied Pakistan females to create history, as referees rob Pakistani females from inflicting the biggest upset of the event when they came so close to beat arch rivals India in the second and last group-B match. Even then Pakistani females ensured a place in the quarterfinals, as they beat Iran 3-0 in the earlier match.

While talking from Hong Kong, Pakistan team head coach Jamshed Gul said: “I can't explain in words how females play against Iran. It was a treat to watch as Maria, Sammer completely dominating Iranian girls. Maria started the first match against Dolatizabeh Parand, Maria's power, aggression and pace was too hot to handle for Dolatizabeh in her 11-2, 11-4 and 11-4 victory. Pakistan's most talented and gifted player Sammer played second match against Taghavi Rafsanjani Taba who won game 11-6, 11-0, 11-9, thus make sure Pakistan qualify for the quarterfinals without even playing last pool match against mighty Indians.”

Maria played first match of the tie against Indian Joshna Chinappa. Maria played one of the best squash of her life, as she took the first game 13-11 but Joshna bounced back to take the second game 6-11 to make it 1-1. Maria once again played brilliantly and took the third game 13-11. The score could have been far different had referees were not biased. Same was the case in the fourth and fifth games. A number of calls were deliberately given against Maria to upset her rhythms, referees tactics paid dividend, as Maria lost 4th game 8-11 and fifth and deciding game 7-11. Pakistan Squash Federation must launch very strong protest with Asian Squash Federation. These referees had played very dirty role during the Asian Senior Individual Squash Championship held in Pakistan last May. Muneer Shah, head of referees is well known for his biased nature and dirty tricks to oblige Indian masters. Syed Razi Nawab, vice president ASF is present in Hong Kong. It is his national and moral duty to take up the issue seriously and ensure such things not repeat in future. In the second match Sammer Anjum was pitted against Aparajitha Balamirukan, but here too, referees played important role in the second, third and 4th games to deny Sammer a chance to win the tie. In the third dead rubber Muqaddas Ashraf lost to Anaka Alankamony 3-0, 5-11, 9-11 and 6-11. Pakistan will play Singapore for 5th to 8th place match today.