KARACHI: Maintaining their consistent run, top two seeded cueists — Mohammad Asif and Asjad Iqbal — together with Shahram Changezi and Sohail Shehzad completed the semi-final quartet by crossing first knockout hurdle in the fourth ranking snooker cup at National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex on Thursday.

Top seed and national champion Asif brushed aside Mohammad Javed 5-2 in the best of nine frames quarter-final to stay unbeaten in the competition.

His triumph against ninth-ranked Javed in the all-Punjab match had three solid breaks of 88, 81 and 75 in the first, third and sixth frames. The latter did efforts to comeback in the game twice after going into arrears, but had no answer to the former’s brilliance who won 96-21, 0-96, 81-1, 27-75, 59-24, 79-26, 53-47.

Playing on the adjacent table, second seed Asjad also lived up to his reputation defeating former national champion and 10th ranked Shahid Aftab by the identical score line of 5-2.

With last two ranking titles of the year under his belt, the 20-year-old Asjad recovered from two frames all to wrap up the match 75-23, 0-74, 98-6, 15-88, 116-8, 60-48, 59-13. He also piled up three breaks of 54, 85 and 54 in the first, third and fifth frames while the loser also shone with two breaks of 66 and 77 in the second and fourth frames.

Islamabad’s Shahram, who topped group ‘D’ on completion of league, was on song when he conjured up 5-3 victory over Sindh’s Umair Alam, the 20th seed, to step closer towards capturing the title.

The fifth seed Shahram, who went down to Asjad in the final of the last ranking event, was home 23-70, 66-17, 18-68, 79-0, 70-61, 67-20, 5-64, 117-1.

Sindh’s Sohail Shehzad, the seventh seed, halted sixth seed Mohammad Sajjad imposing to 5-3 victory the scores being 78-29, 44-84, 21-90, 9-74, 70-48, 90-0, 68-32, 73-55.

Asif faces Sohail while Asjad meets Shahram in the two semi-finals to be played on Friday.

Results:

Quarter-finals: Mohammad Asif (Punjab) bt Mohammad Javed (Punjab) 5-2 (96-21, 0-96, 81-1, 27-75, 59-24, 79-26, 53-47); Sohail Shehzad (Sindh) bt Mohammad Sajjad (Punjab) 5-3 (78-29, 44-84, 21-90, 9-74, 70-48, 90-0, 68-32, 73-55); Shahram Changezi (Islamabad) bt Umair Alam (Sindh) 5-3 (23-70, 66-17, 18-68, 79-0, 70-61, 67-20, 5-64, 117-1); Asjad Iqbal (Punjab) bt Shahid Aftab (Punjab) 5-2 (75-23, 0-74, 98-6, 15-88, 116-8, 60-48, 59-13).

Friday’s fixtures: Semi-finals (Best of 11 frames): Mohammad Asif (Punjab) v Sohail Shehzad (Sindh) at 10am; Asjad Iqbal (Punjab) v Shahram Changezi (Islamabad) 2pm.


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