ISLAMABAD -  Maestro Farhan Mehboob became crowned champion after outplaying his compatriot Farhan Zaman in the $25,000 Serena Hotels-Chief of Air Staff (CAS) International Squash Championship 2016 final played here at Mushaf Squash Complex on Monday.

Mehboob dominated the entire final, as his agility, classical drop shots and technique was highly lauded and helped him take the title in style. Mehboob took 2-0 lead in the first game and then it was 4-2. Mehboob kept Zaman on the run in all sides of the court, which made his opponent clueless. Mehboob then put the paddle off, which gave Zaman a chance to level the game at 4-4. Then it was 5-5, 9-5 and Zaman made tremendous comeback and levelled the game at 9-9. Just when things were looking grim for former champion Mehboob, he proved his class once again and won next two points in a row to take the first game 11-9 in 9 minutes.

Mehboob fully dominated the second game as he took a commanding 4-0 lead first and then made it 10-1. Zaman then staged a short comeback, getting 4 points to make it 10-5 due to a couple of silly mistakes made by Mehboob, who hit a winner to grab the game 11-5 in just 5 minutes.

Mehboob also stamped his authority in the third game, where he was 4-0 up and looking all set to clinch the memorable final with utmost ease and comfort, but Zaman was not ready to surrender without a fight and made a strong comeback. Zaman first leveled the game at 4-4, then went onto take 6-4 lead, then it was 8-5. Zaman was serving for the game at 10-5 when Mehboob saved one game point but charged Zaman then hit a winner to take the third game 11-6 in 7 minutes.

This made the final interesting and enthralling, and crowd also started pushing and bucking Zaman to stage similar comeback, which he made in the semifinals the other day, where down and out Zaman produced some magical touches and beat top seed Leo Au. But he was aware that it was not Leo, but Mehboob, who is well-known to finish off opponents when he is playing big matches. Mehboob entered the fourth game with different frame of mind and hit the ball into the tin, before racing on to take 8-2 lead.

With Mehboob’s delightful delicate drop shots, forcefully backhand shots, which were almost clued to side walls was almost unplayable, Zaman had no clues what to do and how to stop the magician from imposing highly convincing defeat. The family of Mehboob was also encouraging their lad to finish off Zaman, but Mehboob was deliberately stretching the match, as he wanted to teach a lesson to Zaman, which he is going to remember for a long period of time.

After taking 8-2 lead in the fourth game, Mehboob got one more point to make it 9-2. Zaman then reduced the deficit to 5-9, but that was all he could get from the game and the final, as Mehboob hit two winners to take the game 11-5 in 8 minutes, thus registered highly impressive and memorable victory after a long gap. Soon after scoring his title victory, Mehboob bowed in the middle of the court to pay thanks to Almighty, while his father and brothers also rushed into the court to hug the champion. Mehboob raised his hands to respond crowd’s support.

Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) president, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman graced the final as chief guest, while Serena Hotels CEO Aziz Bolani, squash legends Qamar Zaman and Jahangir Khan, PSB Director General Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera and other dignitaries and squash lovers were also present at the jam-packed venue. In the end, the chief guest distributed prizes and trophies among the winners at the well-organised prize distribution ceremony.