Asif, Shahid reach knockout round at national snooker

Published October 5, 2021
KARACHI: Sindh qualifier Ali Hamza, who stunned fourth seed Mohammad Bilal, in action at the National Snooker Championship on Monday.
KARACHI: Sindh qualifier Ali Hamza, who stunned fourth seed Mohammad Bilal, in action at the National Snooker Championship on Monday.

KARACHI: Defending champion and top seed Mohammad Asif and third seed Shahid Aftab consolidated their positions for making it to the knockout round of the NBP 46th National Snooker Championship here at the bank’s sports complex on Monday.

Drawn in group ‘A’, four-time national champion Asif won back-to-back matches to stay unbeaten in four outings so far. First, he trounced Owaisullah of Punjab 4-1 (92-18, 75-5, 15-98, 68-9, 78-54) and then outplayed Balochistan’s Abdul Qadir Ashir 72-34, 80-0, 67-9, 92-0.

Asif, 39, who is also a two-time world champion, is yet to play two more games to complete his league engagements.

Shahid, a former national champion, drubbed Waqar Ahmed of Islamabad 4-1 to stretch his winning sequence in group ‘C’. He was home 91-27, 91-28, 69-36, 1-93, 71-42.

Having lost the first two matches, former national champion and second seed Mohammad Sajjad recovered to win two fixtures on Monday. Sajjad first inflicted straight defeat upon Mohammad Iftekhar 60-25, 57-39, 72-14, 66-32 and then overwhelmed Sharjeel Mehmood 87-15, 63-57, 73-25, 85-66.

Ali Hamza, a qualifier from Sindh, shocked fourth seed Mohammad Bilal 4-2 (45-55, 80-28, 90-33, 62-78, 37-14, 73-0).

In yet another upset, low-profile Saad Khan blanked reigning Asian team champion Zulfiqar A. Qadir 63-49, 49-16, 67-51, 73-19.

It may be mentioned that Zulfiqar paired with Babar Masih to win the 2019 Asian team title at Doha and the event has not taken place since then due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Mohammad Ijaz hammered the only century break (105) of the day while routing Hiskail Bilal 4-1 (88-27, 32-87, 86-8, 65-22, 106-0).

Results:

Waqar Ahmed (Islamabad) bt Aftab Baig (Balochistan) 4-0 (66-43, 63-19, 60-16, 72-44); Mohammad Sajjad (Punjab) bt Mohammad Iftekhar (Sindh) 4-0 (60-25, 57-39, 72-14, 66-32); Adil Khan (Balochistan) bt Hamza Akbar (Punjab) 4-3 (62-56, 80-44, 20-52, 61-58, 34-63, 16-71, 70-35); Sharjeel Mehmood (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) bt Saifullah (Punjab) 4-1 (65-45, 37-57, 68-41, 75-44, 79-1); Mohammad Asif (Punjab) bt Owaisullah (Punjab) 4-1 (92-18, 75-5, 15-98, 68-9, 78-54); Abdul Sattar (Sindh) bt Munawar Khaliq (Islamabad) 4-3 (24-76, 92-19, 56-69, 68-39, 41-60, 57-17, 61-40); Rambel Gul (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) bt Abdul Qadir Ashir (Balochistan) 4-0 (75-38, 93-5, 77-16, 103-14); Mohammad Sajjad (Punjab) bt Sharjeel Mehmood (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) 4-0 (87-15, 63-57, 73-25, 85-66); Adil Khan (Balochistan) bt Zubair Tahir (Punjab) 4-1 (70-48, 80-53, 64-65, 71-32, 54-39); Saifullah (Punjab) bt Hamza Akbar (Punjab) 4-0 (89-24, 75-31, 63-58, 55-12); Mohammad Asif (Punjab) bt Abdul Qadir Ashir (Balochistan) 4-0 (72-34, 80-0, 67-9, 92-0); Mohammad Shahzad (Punjab) bt Munawar Khaliq (Islamabad) 4-2 (72-25, 40-62, 72-27, 15-73, 73-17, 73-18); Ali Hamza (Sindh) bt Mohammad Bilal (Punjab) 4-2 (45-55, 80-28, 90-33, 62-78, 37-14, 73-0); Sheikh M. Mudassir (Punjab) bt Abdul Javed (Islamabad) 4-2 (65-21, 53-63, 67-43, 48-59, 56-41, 49-38); Nadeem Gul (Punjab) bt Ahmad Shah (Balochistan) 4-0 (58-51, 57-26, 58-34, 86-0); Shahid Aftab (Punjab) bt Waqar Ahmed (Islamabad) 4-1 (91-27, 91-28, 69-36, 1-93, 71-42); Ahsan Ramzan (Punjab) bt Aamir Sohail (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) 4-2 (73-25, 88-0, 36-55, 70-37, 57-68, 75-17); Hammad Hassan Shaikh (Punjab) bt Aftab Baig (Balochistan) 4-1 (19-51, 69-8, 61-12, 70-9, 51-38); Mubashir Raza (Punjab) bt Hamza Ilyas (Punjab) 4-3 (71-53, 18-66, 63-54, 12-56, 0-57, 63-16, 61-22); Saad Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) bt Zulfiqar A. Qadir (Sindh) 4-0 (63-49, 49-16, 67-51, 73-19); Mohammad Taufiq Johri (Sindh) bt Bahadur Khan (Balochistan) 4-1 (23-60, 88-30, 64-33, 64-47, 59-39); Mohammad Ahsan Javed (Punjab) bt Sheikh Mohammad Muzammil (Punjab) 4-3 (39-55, 66-21, 20-59, 63-40, 67-16, 51-61, 52-9); Mohammad Ijaz (Punjab) bt Hiskail Bilal (Balochistan) 4-1 (88-27, 32-87, 86-8, 65-22, 106-0); Umer Naeem (Sindh) bt Shah Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) 4-1 (63-23, 34-48, 67-24, 76-30, 61-15).

Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2021

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