Pakistan fall to India in Asian Team Squash event

Malaysia: Pakistan lost a keenly awaited match against India 1-2 in the 20th Asian Squash Team Championship underway in Kuala Lumpur.

Tayyab Aslam lost to world No 15 Saurav Ghosal in a five-game thriller. Saurav came back from two games down to beat Tayyab Aslam 9-11, 7-11, 11-1, 11-7, 11-8 after the tie was locked 1-1.

Asim Khan started the proceedings rather meekly against Ramit Tandon who won 11-5, 11-9, 14-12. It was then left to courageous Nasir Iqbal to bring back Pakistan in contention with a resounding 9-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-7 win against Mahesh Mangaonkar.

Tayyab showed exceptional abilities to engage his opponent in long rallies and made him struggle for each point. The world No 47 Pakistani player snatched two games against world No 15. Both were seen playing neck and neck squash in the fourth and fifth. Tayyab even had an upper hand in the third. However, the 34-year-old Indian put all his experience into play to get clear in the last two games 11-7, 11-8 to almost ensure top position for his team in the Pool A. Pakistan can still finish second in the pool by beating Japan in their last outing on Thursday (today).

“I tried my best to earn win against Saurav. I decided not to go all out in the third only to concentrate on the fourth. Possibly that was a mistake as, by the end of the second game, Saurav was under pressure and was struggling to save the match,” Tayyab said.

It was Asim’s performance that gave an early jolt to Pakistan as he was no way near his true strength and was only seen just going through the motions.

Earlier, Pakistan defeated Jordon 3-0 — their third win in the pool matches.

Results: Pakistan defeated Iraq 3-0: Tayyab Aslam bt Rasool Hashim Al-Sultani 11-2, 13-10, 11-7; Nasir Iqbal bt Abdullah Hashim Al-Sultani 11-3, 11-6, 14-12 and Amaad Fareed bt Hasnain Obeid Dakheel 11-6, 11-3, 11-7.

India beat Pakistan by 2-1. Ramit Tandon bt Asim Khan 11-5, 11-9, 14-12; Nasir Iqbal bt Mahesh Mangaonkar 9-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-7; Saurav Ghosal bt Tayyab Aslam 9-11, 7-11, 11-1, 11-7, 11-8.