Pakistan qualifier Yasir Butt continued his giant-killing run in the EBS Dayton Open in the USA when he overcame New Zealander Campbell Grayson to claim a place in the semi-finals of the PSA World Tour International 25 squash event in its eighth year at the Dayton Squash Center in Dayton, Ohio.
The 23-year-old from Lahore made his breakthrough in the first round where he ousted Robbie Temple, an Englishman ranked more than 60 places higher. Butt went on to take Grayson 4-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-2.
"Butt dropped the first game, looking a little unsure of his game and made a few mistakes, but settled down and took the next three games in the match that lasted 56 minutes," explained tournament organiser Charlie Johnson.
"The pivotal point in this match was in game three where, down 6-8, Grayson won a long rally to get to 7-8 - but Butt countered winning another astoundingly long rally to stifle a run and won the game 11-8. After Grayson won the first point of the last game, Butt ran off seven straight points but to his credit, Grayson fought hard to the end despite the insurmountable lead Butt had and the crowd was highly entertained by the final rallies where both players were giving it their all."
The Pakistani progresses to face Adrian Grant, the top seed from England. The London left-hander dismissed Butt's 17-year-old compatriot Danish Atlas Khan, also a qualifier, 12-10, 11-9, 11-5.
There will also be English interest in the other semi-final where Chris Simpson takes on Alister Walker, of Botswana.
Fourth seed Simpson staged an impressive comeback, recovering from 2/0 down to beat fellow countryman Adrian Waller 5-11, 2-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 in 71 minutes.
"Really happy with my comeback," tweeted Simpson later. "It's about time I won 1 in 5!"
Walker, the second seed, survived a marathon first game before going on to beat English qualifier Olivier Pett 18-16, 11-6, 11-7 in 63 minutes.
"Pett has played well all week and continued his high level in the first game that took an astounding 30 minutes," said Johnson. "This initial game got to 10-all and then began an incredible series of game ball rallies alternating between players: these were fabulous displays of both players' ability to retrieve and at the same time, try to pound the ball away to finish the rally.
"At 14-14, someone in the gallery exclaimed that 'no one seems to want to win' and I countered with no one wants to lose - no 'seem' about it!
"The highest level play we've seen all week took place over the next five points that it took Walker to win this marathon game 18-16. Pett was not deflated after the loss of this first game, both players appreciated the effort of the other for a 30 minute game, and he played very hard over the next two games."
RESULTS: PSA International 25 EBS Dayton Open, Dayton, Ohio, USA
 Adrian Grant (ENG) bt [Q] Danish Atlas Khan (PAK) 12-10, 11-9, 11-5 (46m)
[Q] Yasir Butt (PAK) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 4-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-2 (56m)
 Chris Simpson (ENG) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 5-11, 2-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (71m)
 Alister Walker (BOT) bt [Q] Olivier Pett (ENG) 18-16, 11-6, 11-7 (63m)
 Adrian Grant (ENG) v [Q] Yasir Butt (PAK)
 Alister Walker (BOT) v  Chris Simpson (ENG)
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