Islamabad -  Farhan Mehboob upset 4th seed Egyptian Mazen Gamal 3-0 in the $25,000 Serena Hotels-Chief of Air Staff (CAS) International Squash Championship first round match played here at Mushaf Squash Complex on Friday.

It was a highly disappointing day for most of the Pakistani players, who bowed out at the very first hurdle and also exposed tall claims made by Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) regarding over-the-moon preparations and training for local players from world class coaches. Besides Farhan Mehboob, only Farhan Zaman made it to the quarterfinals.

Farhan Mehboob started the first game on high note and took 3-0 lead, which was soon reduced by Mazen to 2-3. Then it was 5-2, but once again Farhan gave too much respect and freedom to Mazen, who levelled the score at 5-5, but Farhan once again made it 7-5. Mazen once again bounced back and leveled the score at 8-8. After that, Mehboob didn’t look back and won three points in a row to take the first game 11-8 in 11 minutes.

The second game saw Mehboob playing irresistible squash, as his masterfully shots were too hot to handle for Mazen, which helped him first take 5-2 lead and then 10-5 before Mazen saved two game points, but it was all that he could get from the game, as Mehboob played a winner to wrap up the second game 11-7 in 10 minutes.

It was all Mehboob in the third game, as Mazen had no clue what was coming next and he was also looking tired, hapless and was hardly able to move in the court. Putting tremendous pressure on Mazen, Mehboob took the third game 11-3 in just 5 minutes to send wild celebrations amongst the local crowd. PSF secretary Group Captain Amir Nawaz rose from his seat and rushed to hug Mehboob, as entire staff deputed at the Mushaf Mir Complex was clapping for the sensational Mehboob, who will now face England’s Nathan Lake challenge in quarterfinals.

In another first round match, Farhan Zaman beat England’s Jamie Haycocks 3-0 in just 23 minutes. Zaman took the first game 11-8, second 11-8 and third 11-8 to wrap the game and qualify for the quarterfinals where he will take on Egyptian Shehab Essem.

Earlier in the first encounter of the day, top seed Hong Kong’s Leo Au defeated wildcard recipient Waqar Mehboob, who was steamrolled by the top seed, who won 11-5, 11-3, 11-4 in just 32 minutes. Egyptian Youssef Soliman beat Netherlands Piedro Schweertman 3-1 in 54 minutes, 9-11, 11-2, 11-7 and 11-4 while Egyptian Shehab Essam thumped Tayyab Aslam 3-1 in 48 minutes, winning the match 11-7, 9-11, retired. Nathan Lake of England beat Jordanian Ahmad Al-Saraj 3-0, winning the first game 12-10 and was leading 8-3 in the second game when Saraj got injured and forced to concede the match.

Egyptian Karim El-Hammamy ended Ahsan Ayaz’s dream run in the event, when he beat Ahsan 3-2 in 73 minutes of electrifying encounter, which was witnessed by pack-to-capacity crowd. It was highly sensational performance by Ahsan, who was playing against former world junior champion. Ahsan took the first game 11-7, but lost the second 8-11, third 4-11, before bouncing back to take the fourth game 11-4. But it was all he could get from the match, as he lost the fifth game 11-6.

The best encounter of the day was played between the second seed Egyptian Mohamed Reda and Pakistan’s Israr Ahmed. Israr fought well and went down fighting. He could have inflicted upset victory on Reda, had he not committed childish mistakes. Reda took 3-0 lead in the first game but Israr then not only levelled the score but also took 7-4 lead. But he squandered the lead and lost the first game 13-11.

It was one-way traffic in the second game, as Israr brushed aside Reda to take the 11-7.  The third game was a treat to watch as started the game well, taking 10-3 lead and was almost certain to clinch the game, but Israr made tremendous comeback, as he won next 8 points in a row to make it 11-10. He was serving for the game at 11-10, but he wasted simple opportunity and it was 12-12, but then played superbly and won the game 14-12. After playing his heart out, Israr simply lost the momentum and was nowhere in the 4th game, as Egyptian Reda took the game 11-4 in just 4 minutes to register victory.