KARACHI: Tenth seed Shahid Aftab who captured his maiden national snooker title last year came into prominence by chalking up highest break of 133 to date while routing Abu Saim straight in the last league match and earn a place in quarter-finals of the fourth ranking snooker cup at National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex on Wednesday.
Aftab, who got advantage of getting the first frame due to his opponent’s late arrival, build up the break in the third frame as he raced to win 104-15, 137-0, 60-57 to join Mohammad Sajjad from group C in making the last eight. The break helped him surpass the 118 mark set by Sajjad on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the last day of the league saw three seeded cueists making their exit. Those who failed to progress include third seed Sultan Mohammad, fourth seed Khurram Agha, both from Sindh, and eighth seed Sharjeel Mehmood of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Apart from Aftab and Sajjad, other six players who were through to the quarters were top seed and national champion Mohammad Asif, second seed Asjad Iqbal, fifth seed Shahram Changezi, seventh seed Sohail Shehzad, ninth seed Mohammad Javed and 20th seed Umair Alam.
Asif notched up 4-2 victory over Sharjeel in the last group A tie to maintain his winning streak while Asjad’s unbeaten run received a jolt when he went down fighting 3-4 to Sindh’s Sohail Shehzad.
Asif is due to meet Mohammad Javed while Asjad faces Shahid Aftab in the best of nine frames quarter-finals on Thursday at 10am.
Sajjad is pitted against Sohail Shehzad while Shahram is drawn against Umair Alam in the two other quarters that will be played concurrently.
Results: Mohammad Asif (Punjab) bt Sharjeel Mehmood (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)) 4-2 (88-7, 75-42, 72-61, 51-79, 47-56, 74-31); Sohail Shehzad (Sindh) bt Asjad Iqbal (Punjab) 4-3 (56-38, 23-64, 17-84, 66-16, 108-1, 34-42, 80-15); Mohammad Sajjad (Punjab) bt Sultan Mohammad (Sindh) 4-1 (69-31, 72-5, 45-62, 57-48, 76-0); Shahram Changezi (Islamabad) bt Khurram Agha (Sindh) 4-1 (55-53, 47-81, 91-34, 85-42, 70-42); Umair Alam (Sindh) bt Abdul Sattar (Sindh) 4-3 (39-70, 16-78, 39-52, 77-52, 45-37, 64-26, 67-31); Mohammad Afzal (Punjab) bt Mohammad Majid (Punjab)4-3 (74-14, 23-65, 87-14, 30-66, 6-52, 82-2, 81-40); Shahid Aftab (Punjab) bt Abu Saim (Punjab) 4-0 (First frame awarded to Shahid as his opponent came late, 104-15, 137-0, 60-57); Mohammad Javed (Punjab) bt Mohammad Yousuf (Punjab) 4-2 (81-28, 24-60, 85-33, 9-117, 76-35, 71-31); Mohammad Imran (Punjab) bt Bilawal Agha (Sindh) 4-0 (50-30, 67-60, 68-33, 67-17); Vishan Gir (Sindh) bt Mohammad Ishtaiq (Sindh) 4-2 (30-80, 50-31, 64-17, 8-58, 80-2, 68-16); Imran Shahzad (Punjab) bt Mohammad Bilal (Punjab) 4-0 (first frame awarded to Imran as his opponent came late, 84-1, 59-36, 78-1); Mohammad Nazeer (Punjab) bt Naveen Perwani (Sindh) 4-3 (84-5, 82-0, 67-55, 38-77, 28-54, 33-78, 67-16).
Thursday’s fixtures: Quarter-finals (Best of nine frames): Mohammad Asif (Punjab) v Mohammad Javed (Punjab), Mohammad Sajjad (Punjab) v Sohail Shehzad (Sindh), Shahram Changezi (Islamabad) v Umair Alam (Sindh), Asjad Iqbal (Punjab) v Shahid Aftab (Punjab) at 10am.