ISLAMABAD  -  Egyptian Mostafa Asal stunned top seed Greg Lobban 3-1 in the $30,000 Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Serena Hotels International Squash Tournament first semifinal played here at Mushaf Squash Complex on Thursday.

In the second semifinal, Egyptian Youssef Soliman ousted compatriot Karim Al Fathi 3-1. While in the $10,000 Women International Squash Tournament, Farida Mohamed and Cindy Merlo will clash against each other in the final as both registered contrasting victories against their respective opponents in the semifinals.

In the first semifinal, Egypt’s Mostafa Asal was up against Scottish Greg Lobban. Mostafa started the first game on a fast tempo and never let Lobban settle down, thus took the first game 11-5. Lobban then bounced back in style and won the second game 11-5. After playing so well in the second game, Lobban couldn’t make his presence felt in the third game and lost it 11-3.

The fourth game was played on a very fast tempo, as both the players were involved in fierce battle and weren’t ready to go down without a fight. It was see saw battle, as the game kept on swinging from one way to another but Mostafa then changed gears and applied all-out pressure which helped him take the game 11-8. He won the the encounter in 46 minutes.

In the second semifinal, it was all-Egyptian affair as Youssef Soliman was up against compatriot Karim Al Fathi. Youssef wasted very little time to adjust and take the first game 11-5. After losing so easily, Karim started fought back well and matches fire with fire before it was 11-11. Youssaf then kept his composure and went onto win the second game 13-11. Karim played superb squash in the third game and won it 11-6. Youssaf then regained his confidence and kept Karim on the run and took the game 11-6, thus registered victory in 66 minutes.

In women’s first semifinal, top seed Egyptian Farida Mohamed was given a real run for her money by compatriot Sana Ibrahim, who, after going down, bounced back and almost shocked the top seed.

Farida lost the first game 10-12, before bouncing back in the second game, winning it 11-3. Farida won the third game 11-9, before losing the fourth 17-19 but then won the fifth game 11-9 to win the marathon match in 52 minutes.

In second semifinal, Swiss miss Cindy Merlo almost threw it away before defeating Korean Jihyun Lee 3-2 in 36 minutes. Cindy won the first game 11-4 and took the second 11-8. But she then lost next two games 8-11 and 9-11.

It was nerve-wrecking fifth game, where Cindy controlled her emotions, kept composure and won it 12-10. The women’s final will be played at 3:30pm, followed by men’s final at 4:30pm.