LAHORE - Pakistan’s leading tennis player Sara Mansoor outclassed former No 1 Sarah Mehboob in straight sets to clinch the ladies singles title in the Shehryar Malik Memorial Grass Court Tennis Championship 2019 here at PLTA courts on Saturday.

In ladies singles final, Sara Mansoor proved too hot for spirited Sara Mehboob and overwhelmed her by 6-0, 6-1. Sara Mansoor showed aggression right from the word go and didn’t allow her opponent to earn even a single point in the first set, winning it 6-0. Sara was a bit lenient in the second set as she conceded just one point to win it 6-1, thus registered a title victory.

In men’s doubles final, M Abid and Waqas Malik played exceptional tennis against top seed pair of Aqeel Khan and Shehzad Khan and edge past them by 6-4, 2-6, 10-1. Abid/Waqas matched fire with fire till the end as they won the first set 6-4 after a tough fight, but lost the second by 2-6. In the third and decisive set, after a long and hard struggle, Abid/Waqas succeeded in winning the set by 10-1, thus lifted the title.

On the other hand, top seed Aqeel Khan, partnering with Pakistan’s 40 plus doubles No 1 Talha Waheed (Gas and Oil Pakistan Ltd), overpowered the pair of Jehanzeb Khan and Arif Feroz by 6-3, 6-4 to grab the national senior doubles title.

In U-18 singles final, Abdullah Adnan beat Ahhmad Kamil 6-2, 5-2 (retd), in boys singles U-14, Hamid Israr beat Huzaima while Hamza Roman beat M Huzaifa to set final match. In boys U-12, Hamza Roman beat Asadullah 6-1, 6-3 while in second semifinal, Hasnain Ali beat Ehtisham Hamayun 6-4, 6-0.

In U-10 boys singles, Abubakar Talha beat Ameer Mazari 4-1, 4-1 and Hania Minhas beat Ismail Aftab 4-1, 4-1. In veterans doubles over 60 final, Brig Ghazanfar and Muhammad Babar beat Inam-ul-Haq and Major Saeed Ikram 7-6, 7-5, 10-4. The men’s singles final will be contested between Aqeel Khan and Muzamil Murtaza today (Sunday) at 3:00 pm.

Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) President Salim Saifullah Khan will grace the finals as chief guest while guest of honours will be Metro Cash and Carry MD Marek Minkiewicz and PC Lahore General Manager Roy Alberto Kappenberger. PLTA Chairman Iftikhar Ahmad Rao and Secretary Rashid Malik and others will also be present there.

Second Lead Blurb

The event carries a total prize money of Rs 3.5 million with the winners collecting Rs 2 million Federal Areas keen to complete hat-trick of Pakistan Cup titles

ISLAMABAD   -    Pakistan international Mohammad Rizwan has been appointed captain of the Federal Areas cricket team, which will aim to complete a hat-trick of Pakistan Cup titles in the tournament.

The defending champions will be joined by the four provincial sides in the 50-over tournament which be held at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi from April 2 to 12. Federal Areas played under the name of Islamabad in the inaugural edition and failed to finish in the top two sides. However, under a new name, they bounced back in style in the 2017 final when they chased down a 324-run target to beat Balochistan by one wicket off the final delivery of the match.

Last year in the Faisalabad final, Federal Areas comfortably beat Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by five wickets when they achieved the 253-run target with five wickets and nine overs to spare. This year, Federal Areas will open their title defence on the second day of the tournament on Wednesday, 3 April, against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which will be captained by Salman Butt. The opening fixture will be between Punjab and Balochistan, which will be captained by Kamran Akmal and Asad Shafiq, respectively. Sindh is the other side in the tournament, which will be led by former Test fast bowler Umer Gul.

The five sides have been chosen by the national selection committee, which is headed by Inzamam-ul-Haq. The players, who have been playing regular and consistent cricket for the Pakistan cricket team, have not been included as part of the selectors’ policy of providing them sufficient rest prior to the all-important ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

With the 15-player squad for the World Cup to be announced after the Pakistan Cup, the Pakistan Cup provides another opportunity to the cricketers to stake a claim for a place in the biggest cricket spectacle on the planet. “We have always selected players on their performances in domestic cricket. If there are any extraordinary performances on positions which are up for grabs, then those top performers will definitely be considered,” chief selector Inzamam said.

“The purpose of announcing the World Cup squad after the Pakistan Cup is to give value and importance to this tournament in which all the top performers below the national team players are playing and they deserve to be given equal and fair opportunity before the national side is finalised and announced.”

Director Domestic Cricket Haroon Rasheed said: “Pakistan Cup is a short but challenging competition in which the spectators will have an opportunity to watch some of their favourite cricketers live in action. I am confident that this tournament will live up to its reputation of producing some high quality cricket.”

The tournament carries a total prize money of PRK3.5 million with the winner collecting PKR2 million. The losing finalist will get PKR1 million, while player of the league matches will get PKR25,000 each. The best batsman, bowler, all-rounder and player of the final will receive PKR100,000 each. The PCB, as part of its strategy to further give incentives in domestic cricket, has enhanced the match fee of each player from PKR33,000 to PKR 35,000.

SQUADS:-    BALOCHISTAN: Asad Shafiq (captain); Ali Imran; Ammad Butt; Awais Zia; Bismillah Khan (WK); Fawad Alam; Ghulam Mudassar; Haris Rauf; Mohammad Irfan Sr; Qaiser Ashraf; Taj Wali; Umar Khan; Umer Akmal; Waqar Hussain (WK) and Zeeshan Ashraf.

FEDERAL AREAS: Mohammad Rizwan (WK, captain); Ahmed Shehzad; Asad Afridi; Bilal Asif; Israrullah; Khurram Shahzad; Mohammad Nawaz; Nihal Mansoor; Ramiz Raja Jr; Rumman Raees; Sameen Gul; Saud Shakil; Sohaib Maqsood; Waqas Maqsood and Zia-ul-Haq.

KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA: Salman Butt (captain); Abid Ali; Adil Amin; Adnan Akmal (WK); Faizan Riaz; Khushdil Shah; Mohammad Irfan; Mohammad Irfan Jr; Mohammad Saad; Sohail Khan; Musa Khan; Umaid Asif; Wahab Riaz; Zeeshan Malik and Zohaib Khan

PUNJAB: Kamran Akmal (WK, captain); Anwar Ali; Bilawal Bhatti; Ehsan Adil; Fahad Iqbal; Iftikhar Ahmed; Kashif Bhatti; Khurram Manzoor; Mohammad Asghar; Mohammad Sami; Ramiz Aziz; Saad Ali; Sami Aslam; Sohail Tanveer and Waleed Ahmed.

SINDH: Umer Gul (captain); Ahsan Ali; Amir Yamin; Ashiq Ali; Asif Ali; Hammad Azam; Imran Rafiq; Mohammad Hassan (WK); Mohammad Hasnain; Mohammad Ilyas; Nauman Ali; Rahat Ali; Sahibzada Farhan; Umar Amin and Umar Siddique (WK).