By our correspondent
LAHORE: Pakistan on Saturday had to content with a silver medal when they were downed by India 2-1 in the 19th Asian Games men’s squash team event final at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Squash Court 1.
The country’s premier player Nasir Iqbal provided Pakistan with a solid start when he downed India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar inside 29 minutes with 3-0 score-line. The game score remained 11-8, 11-3, 11-2.
However India made a smart fightback when Saurav Ghosal defeated Mohammad Asim Khan 3-0 to level the fixture 1-1.
Asim miserably failed to show any resistance against India’s tough player with Ghosal winning it 11-5, 11-1, 11-3 inside 30 minutes.
And now it was the turn of Noor Zaman to show his guts on the court in the decisive game against Abhay Singh. It was indeed a battle of nerves where Abhay Singh prevailed over Zaman beating him 3-2 in a 64 minutes long nail-biter.
After losing the first set 7-11, Noor fought back strongly and won the next two sets 11-9, 11-8 to give Pakistan 2-1 lead. However Abhay at this stage showed class discipline and won the next two sets 11-9, 12-10 to gift India the title.
Earlier, in the semi-finals on Friday Pakistan’s quartet defeated Hong Kong 2-1.
Noor Zaman took a bright start for Pakistan when he conquered Henry Hen Chi Leung 3-1 with the set score being 12-10, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8.
In the second game Hong Kong fought back as Asim Khan went down to Kwan Tsz Lau 3-2 with the set scores being 8-11, 14-12, 10-12, 11-4 and 11-2 in the Kwan’s favour.
In the third and decisive clash Nasir Iqbal showed his temperament to beat Hong Ming Tang 3-0 to put Pakistan in the final.
The show lasted for 30 minutes.
Now on Sunday (today) Nasir Iqbal will face Natthapat Theerasilp of Thailand in the men’s singles round of 32.
Also in the round of 32 Mohammad Asim Khan will clash with Widjaja Jon Aaron Liang of Singapore. In the mixed doubles Pool A Pakistan 2 will meet India 2. In the women’s singles round of 32 Noor-ul-Ain Ijaz will meet Khulan Purevjav of Mongolia and in the mixed doubles Group D Pakistan 1 will lock horns with India 1.