KARACHI: Reigning national U-17 champion Ahsan Ramzan created quite a stir when he pulled off the biggest upset to date by humbling top seed and holder Mohammad Asif 5-2 as second seed Mohammad Sajjad smashed maximum break of 147, first ever by a cueist in a ranking event, in the NBP 46th National Snooker Championship at the bank’s sports complex on Saturday.
The 16-year-old Ahsan send shockwaves when he cut two-time world champion Asif to size, registering an authoritative victory in the quarter-final to stay in contention for his maiden national title.
Promising Ahsan who is much younger and inexperienced as compared to his opponent, was home 70-57, 44-83, 71-33, 93-45, 78-49, 13-67, 80-0.
The 39-year-old Asif who was unbeaten so far was at the receiving end and could only win two frames.
“Ahsan played well and it was his day to shine’, veteran Asif told Dawn, adding that Ahsan had the potential to rise and make his mark in future.
Sajjad was stretched to the limit by Sindh’s Zulfiqar A. Qadir before winning 100-8, 147-0, 72-0, 52-77, 53-70, 1-64, 42-66, 55-35, 94-28.
It was a treat to watch Sargodha-based Sajjad achieving milestone of 147 break in the second frame to become the first Pakistani cueist achieving the honour at the national level competition.
In yet another upset, unseeded Haris Tahir, bronze-medallist of the Asian men’s snooker at Doha recently, breezed past third seed and former national champion Shahid Aftab 5-2 to join the winning quartet. He romped home 74-44, 68-24, 29-65, 43-64, 79-51, 72-0, 76-1.
Eighth seed Babar Masih made short work of Sindh’s qualifier Mohammad Faizan 5-1 (64-30, 100-27, 131-1, 74-12, 55-79, 61-8).
Sajjad is drawn to meet Haris in the first semi-final at 10am while Ahsan is pitted against Babar in the second at 12.30pm on Sunday.
Results (quarter-finals): Mohammad Sajjad (Punjab) bt Zulfiqar A.Qadir (Sindh) 5-4 (100-8, 147-0, 72-0, 52-77, 53-70, 1-64, 42-66, 55-35, 94-28); Haris Tahir (Punjab) bt Shahid Aftab (Punjab) 5-2 (74-44, 68-24, 29-65, 43-64, 79-51, 72-0, 76-1); Ahsan Ramzan (Punjab) bt Mohammad Asif (Punjab) 5-2 (70-57, 44-83, 71-33, 93-45, 78-49, 13-67, 80-0); Babar Masih (Punjab) bt Mohammad Faizan (Sindh) 5-1 (64-30, 100-27, 131-1, 74-12, 55-79, 61-8).
Published in Dawn, October 10th, 2021