ISLAMABAD  -   Ammad Fareed and Zahir Shah made huge upsets in the 12th DG Rangers (Sindh) National Squash Championship 2018 by beating Asim and Israr Ahmed respectively in the quarterfinals played at Sindh Rangers Jahangir Khan Squash Complex North Nazimabad, Karachi on Thursday.

In men’s first quarterfinal, fifth seed Ammad Fareed was up against second seed Asim Khan. Ammad started the first game on a high pace and kept Asim on the run to all sides of the court. Asim, who had played 5-game matches in first and second round, was looking tired, while Ammad was pushing Asim hard, which worked well and he won the first game 11-8.

After losing the first game, Asim started playing aggressive squash and also played a few master class shots. He was dictating terms and was looking all set to level the match at 1-1, but like witnessed so many times in the past, when in cruise control, Asim let the things slip out of his hands and same happened again. Leading 7-4, Asim allowed Ammad to stage comeback and Ammad never required any second invitation, as he wrapped up the game 11-9.

The third game was almost one-sided affair, as Asim was looking tired and was hardly moving freely, while Ammad was looking fresh and hungry to register victory. After few quality exchanges of rallies, Asim simply ran out of gas and Amamd finished him off by winning the game 11-7, thus won the encounter in 35 minutes.

In another major upset of the day, Zahir Shah thrashed former US Open and world team champion Israr Ahmed. The first game started at a brisk pace, as Israr tried to seal early initiative, while Zahir was matching fire with fire and both were involved in fierce battle and classic squash was on offer. Israr was feeling some pain and all of a sudden, he was almost unable to move as he self-inflicted injury on right toe and rushed out of the court. Israr took 3-minute recovery break, but toe swelled in no time and Israr was left with no other option but to concede the match at 7-7.

In third quarterfinal, top seed Tayyab Aslam was given a real run for his money by Syed Ali Mujtaba Bukhari, before going down 1-3 in 26 minutes. Tayyab was in commanding position, as he won the first game 11-7 and second 11-9, but Ali never gave up and pushed Tayyab to the limits and won the third game 13-11. But after playing his heart out, Ali lost momentum and Tayyab wrapped up the fourth game 11-5 to set semifinal date with Ahsan Ayaz.

In fourth and last quarterfinal, Ahsan Ayaz thrashed youngster Abdul Malik 3-0 in just 26 minutes. Ahsan never gave Malik any chance to settle down in the match by playing aggressive squash. Ahsan took the first game 11-5 and won the second 11-4 and after facing some resistance, Ahsan won the third game 11-7.

In women’s quarterfinals, Komal Khan surprised top seed Riffat Khan 2-1 in 31 minutes to book berth in the semifinals. Riffat faced tough resistance in the first game before winning it 12-10. Komal started second game aggressively and put Riffat under tremendous pressure to take the game 11-8. Komal also played really well in the third game and won it 11-8 while both the player fought really well in the fourth game, but Komal managed to tame experienced Riffat to take the game 12-10, thus registered a well-deserving victory.

In the semifinals, Komal will face Rushana Mehboob, who defeated Noor ul Huda 3-2 in 24 minutes. Rushna lost the first game 10-12, but bounced back well to win the second 11-9, again lost the third 9-11, before winning the fourth game 12-10 and fifth 11-5. Saima Shoukat stunned Fehmina Asim 3-0 in 30 minutes, winning the encounter 11-6, 11-9 and 11-7 to set semifinal date with Muqaddas Ashraf, who hammered second seed Anam Aziz 3-0 in the fourth and last quarterfinal.