Hamza Akbar. -Photo by White Star/Tariq Jamal
Hamza Akbar. -Photo by White Star/Tariq Jamal

KARACHI: The fifth National Bank of Pakistan Ranking Snooker Championship, second domestic event of the calendar, commenced on a positive note at the bank’s sports complex on Wednesday with two cueists registering elegant century breaks and the top four besides the world champion making a flying start.

Third seed Sajjad of Punjab was the first to conjure up break of 102 while routing Sindh’s Uzair Aziz 4-0 in the morning session. His break came in the first frame as he was home 110-7, 76-1, 77-1, 60-18.

However, the joy of the break was short-lived as low ranked Mohammad Bilal, also from Punjab, eclipsed it in the last session by piling a break of 117 while upsetting Sindh’s Umair Alam 4-3. The latter is ranked 10th. Bilal’s break came in the fourth frame as he won 13-84, 67-76, 70-44, 126-8, 64-41, 60-75, 53-17.

Apart from Sajjad, other three seeded players Hamza Akbar, Imran Shahzad and Abdul Sattar won their openers in convincing fashion.

Top seed and national champion Hamza whipped Amir Shahzad (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) 4-2 the scores being 54-61, 72-50, 49-39, 79-48, 22-67, 75-52. Second seed Imran conceded the opening frame in his 4-1 triumph over Kyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Aakash Rafique (16-71, 130-8, 52-49, 74-9, 84-9) while Sattar defeated province-mate Vishan Gir by identical margin of 4-1 (28-69, 69-15, 53-46, 63-46, 60-19).

Mohammad Asif, the IBSF world amateur snooker champion, also made a winning start when he humbled defending champion Asjad Iqbal 4-2 (0-94, 67-57, 46-79, 90-12, 63-59, 60-17).

However, three players who are in the top eight — Babar Masih, Abu Saim and Farhan Noor — all from Punjab, besides couple of other lower seeded players suffered loss on the opening day.

Results:

Hamza Akbar (Punjab) bt Amir Shahzad (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) 4-2 (54-61, 72-50, 49-39, 79-48, 22-67, 75-52); Imran Shehzad (Punjab) bt Aakash Rafique (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) 4-1 (16-71, 130-8, 52-49, 74-9, 84-9); Mohammad Sajjad (Punjab) bt M. Uzair Aziz (Sindh) 4-0 (110-7, 76-1, 77-1, 60-18); A. Sattar (Sindh) bt Vishan Gir (Sindh) 4-1 (28-69, 69-15, 53-46, 63-46, 60-19); Shahid Aftab (Punjab) bt Ayaz Khan (Islamabad) 4-2 (82-35, 72-53, 24-69, 91-22, 6-56, 112-18); Rambael Gul (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) bt Babar Masih (Punjab) 4-1 (62-45, 14-82, 61-24, 64-62, 65-16); Khurram Agha (Sindh) bt Abu Saim (Punjab) 4-3 (82-9, 1-80, 80-5, 32-71, 76-53, 14-70, 78-46); Shafiullah (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) bt Farhan Noor (Punjab) 4-2 (85-19, 62-36, 28-91, 69-47, 9-73, 78-72); Mohammad Yousuf (Punjab) bt Mohsin Amin (Punjab) 4-2 (5-73, 40-71, 98-32, 107-1, 72-27, 64-27); Mohammad Majid Ali (Punjab) bt Bahadur Khan (Balochistan) 4-2 (78-9, 33-75, 67-30, 73-15, 56-82, 75-38); Sultan Mohammad (Sindh) bt Amir Tariq (Punjab) 4-3 (38-47, 67-27, 9-72, 51-19, 76-10, 15-58, 72-9); Sharjeel Mehmood (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) bt Amir Rasheed (Punjab) 4-1 (42-67, 80-5, 86-57, 69-38, 99-0); Naveen Parvani (Sindh) bt Mohammad Javed (Punjab) 4-0 (77-8, 82-19, 84-26, 68-54); Mohammad Asif (Punjab) bt Asjad Iqbal (Punjab) 4-2 (0-94, 67-57, 46-79, 90-12, 63-59, 60-17); Mohammad Bilal (Punjab) bt Umair Alam (Sindh) 4-3(13-84, 67-76, 70-44, 126-8, 64-41, 60-75, 53-17); Sohail Shehzad (Sindh) bt Mohammad Ishtaiq (Sindh) 4-0 (67-62, 77-21, 65-12, 64-31).

Thursday’s fixtures:

At 10.00AM: Shahid Aftab (Punjab) v Naveen Perwani (Sindh), Babar Masih (Punjab) v Mohammad Asif (Punjuab), Abu Saim (Punjab) v Mohammad Bilal (Punjab), Farhan Noor (Punjab) v Sohail Shehzad (Sindh).

At 12.00noon: Hamza Akbar (Punjab) v Mohsin Amin (Punjab), Imran Shehzad (Punjab) v Bahadur Khan (Balochistan), Mohammad Sajjad (Punjab) v Sultan Mohammad (Sindh), Abdul Sattar (Sindh) v Amir Rasheed (Punjab).

At 2.00PM: Mohammad Javed (Punjab) v Ayaz Khan (Islamabad), Asjad Iqbal (Punjab) v Rambel Gul (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Umair Alam (Sindh) v Khurram Agha (Sindh), Mohammad Ishtiaq (Sindh) v Shafiullah (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa).

At 4.00 PM: Mohammad Yousuf (Punjab) v Amir Shahzad (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Majid Ali (Punjab) v Aakash Rafique (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Amir Tariq (Punjab) v Mohammad Uzair Aziz (Sindh), Sharjeel Mehmood (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) v Vishan Gir (Sindh).

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