KARACHI: The Pakistan trio comprising defending champion Mohammad Asif, country’s top cueist Mohammad Sajjad and prodigy Ahsan Ramzan inched closer towards glory by storming into the semi-finals of the International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) World Snooker Championship in Doha on Thursday.

Asif, who is eyeing his third world crown, is slated to face debutant Ahsan while former world number two Sajjad will meet reputed Amir Sarkhosh of Iran in the semi-finals.

The semi-finals were in progress at the time of filing this report, at 8:00pm.

According to the results made available here, holder Asif outplayed Bahrain’s Habib Sabah 5-1 (64-16, 89-12, 4-69, 94-1, 79-65, 65-53) in the quarter-final. Earlier in the last-16 round, he had sent celebrity Pankaj Advani of India packing 4-2 (73-10, 77-28, 39-56, 4-98, 96-44, 53-36).

Incumbent national champion Sajjad conceded three frames before inflicting a 5-3 defeat upon Sri Lankan Mohamed Thaha Irshath 47-69, 85-1, 81-0, 42-57, 35-84, 61-26, 72-7, 65-35. Earlier, Sajjad fought back after trailing 1-3 to beat Hong Kong’s Cheung Ka Wai 4-3 (69-9, 5-81, 41-63, 43-74, 86-0, 74-0, 71-0).

Pakistan number two Ahsan whitewashed Egyptian Abdelrahman Shahin 5-0 to join the quartet. He won the duel 62-35, 58-49, 65-47, 63-33, 75-0. He progressed to last-eight after notching up a 4-2 (63-29, 46-76, 51-45, 73-21, 52-69, 67-28) over Renat Denkha of the US.

Youthful Ahsan, who made his debut in the preceding IBSF U-21 event despite hammering the maximum break of 147, went down 2-5 to Germany’s Alexander Widau in the quarter-final. Ahsan was rewarded 10,000 Qatari riyals by ACBS president Mohamed Abu Salem Al-Nuaimi and $600 by the IBSF on his remarkable feat.

Ahsan’s compatriot Sheikh Mohammad Mudassir made exit in the initial round.

Results:

Quarter-finals: Mohammad Sajjad bt Mohamed Thaha Irshath (Sri Lanka) 5-3 (47-69, 85-1, 81-0, 42-57, 35-84, 61-26, 72-7, 65-35); Ahsan Ramzan bt Abdelrahman Shahin (Egypt) 5-0 (62-35, 58-49, 65-47, 63-33, 75-0); Mohammad Asif bt Habib Sabah (Bahrain) 5-1 (64-16, 89-12, 4-69, 94-1, 79-65, 65-53).

Pre quarter-finals: Mohammad Sajjad bt Cheung Ka Wai (Hong Kong) 4-3 (69-9, 5-81, 41-63, 43-74, 86-0, 74-0, 71-0); Ahsan Ramzan bt Renat Denkha (US) 4-2 (63-29, 46-76, 51-45, 73-21, 52-69, 67-28); Mohammad Asif bt Pankaj Advani (India) 4-2 (73-10, 77-28, 39-56, 4-98, 96-44, 53-36)

Published in Dawn, March 11th, 2022

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