snooker, mohammad asif, world snooker championship
Mohammad Asif. -File photo

KARACHI: World champion Mohammad Asif fell prey to former Sindh champion Mohammad Ishtiaq in a seven-frame duel on a day of upsets as 38th National Snooker Championship commenced at the Karachi Gymkhana here on Sunday.

Ishtiaq, who earned the distinction of becoming first cueist to topple Asif after the latter won the world title in Sofia, Bulgaria on Dec 2, won the best-of-seven battle 71-47, 7-70, 1-79, 48-46, 65-54, 54-69, 66-20.

“I’ve not practiced properly since winning laurels to the nation and had developed eye infection which has obviously affected my performance,” top seed and the reigning champion told Dawn.

Asif, however, sounded confident of making a comeback in the remaining matches.

Besides Asif, third seed Sultan Mohammad (Sindh), sixth seed Mohammad Javed (Punjab) and seventh seed Shahid Aftab (Punjab) were among the top eight who lost their opening games.

Qualifier Aakash Rafique of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa shocked Sultan 4-2 while Mohammad Bilal and Amir Tariq stunned Javed and Aftab 4-3 respectively.

Results:

Mohammad Ishtiaq (Sindh) bt Mohammad Asif (Punjab) 4-3 (71-47, 7-70, 1-79, 48-46, 65-54, 54-69, 66-20); Asjad Iqbal (Punjab) bt Aamir Rasheed (Punjab) 4-0 (89-36, 89-50, 75-15, 65-23); Aakash Rafique (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) bt Sultan Mohammad (Sindh) 4-2 (57-63, 94-48, 63-37, 56-58, 66-45, 60-16); Sohail Shehzad (Sindh) bt Qamar Zaman (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) 4-3 (68-33, 68-24, 31-82, 36-77, 25-65, 56-19, 69-2); Mohammad Sajjad (Punjab) bt Javed Ansari (Sindh) 4-1 (15-67, 65-39, 68-32, 53-22, 62-49); Mohammad Bilal (Punjab) bt Mohammad Javed (Punjab) 4-3 (76-38, 67-68, 46-70, 96-28, 87-40, 44-70, 86-0); Amir Tariq (Punjab) bt Shahid Aftab (Punjab) 4-3 (51-61, 75-50, 18-64, 83-0, 39-60, 69-6, 65-18); Sharjeel Mahmood (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) bt Mohsin Amin (Punjab) 4-0 (97-21, 77-6, 48-32, 65-13); Babar Masih (Punjab) bt Amir Shehzad (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) 4-0 (66-1, 67-34, 67-13, 93-22); Abu Saim (Punjab) bt Najeebullah Khan (Balochistan) 4-1 (74-15, 65-43, 28-50, 98-29, 60-29); Umair Alam (Sindh) bt Mohammad Uzair Aziz (Sindh) 4-1 (85-63, 1-73, 47-40, 72-49, 57-22); Abdul Sattar (Sindh) bt Abdul Rehman (Balochistan) 4-0 (62-31, 63-9, 61-39, 68-22); Imran Shehzad (Punjab) bt Mohammad Yousuf (Punjab) 4-3 (64-21, 6-64, 70-17, 55-73, 73-75, 72-21, 68-48); Mohammad Majid Ali (Punjab) bt Rambel Gul (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) 4-3 (17-85, 42-39, 47-65, 63-34, 38-71, 59-40, 59-28); Farhan Noor (Punjab) bt Khurram Agha (Sindh) 4-1 (67-39, 63-26, 23-64, 60-49, 80-48). Monday’s fixtures: Mohammad Sajjad v Rambel Gul, Mohammad Javed v Abdul Rehman, Shahid Aftab v Khizer Aziz, Sharjeel Mehmood v Farhan Noor from 10:00am; Mohammad Asif v Amir Shahzad, Asjad Iqbal v Najeebullah Khan, Sultan Mohammad v Imran Shehzad, Sohail Shehzad v Mohammad Uzair Aziz 12noon; Bahadur Khan v Javed Ansari, Ayaz Khan v Mohammad Bilal, Shah Khan v Aamir Tariq, Naveen Perwani v Mohsin Amin from 2:00pm; Saqib Bashir v Mohammad Ishtiaq, Shafiullah v Amir Rasheed, Abdul Majid v Aakash Rafique, Hamza Akbar v Qamar Zaman from 4:00pm.

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