Asif, Khurram and Amir bow out of ranking snooker

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Fluctuating fortunes continued in the third ranking snooker championship as three unbeaten cueists including world amateur snooker champion Mohammad Asif were knocked out in the quarter-finals at hotel Sheraton on Tuesday.

The other two who met their fate were former Pakistan No 1 Khurram Agha and promising Amir Tariq. They have shocked seeded cueists in the run up to knockout stage.

Punjab’s Mohammad Bilal, who ranked 23rd, is a surprise entity in semifinal quartet; the other three being country’s top player Imran Shehzad, fourth seed and former national Shahid Aftab, both from Punjab, and sixth seed Abdul Sattar from Sindh.

Bilal, who stunned second seed and recent NBP Cup champion Asjad Iqbal in group B opener 4-3, halted the winning run of Khurram while registering an emphatic 5-1 victory to cruise into last four. Bilal was home 80-6, 69-56, 79-47, 0-76, 66-53, 55-25.

It is pertinent to mention that Khurram had beaten Bilal in the league of NBP Cup last month.

Maintaining his consistent form in the circuit, Shahid, ended giant killing run of Amir, losing finalist of this year’s national junior snooker championship, with ease conceding fourth frame in 5-1 triumph.Shahid’s victory 61-38, 73-25, 76-30, 30-55, 60-16, 85-32 had two solid breaks of 76 in the third and 81 in the sixth.

Imran, who finished runner-up to 19-year-old Hamza Akbar in the 38th national championship, whipped Asif 5-3 the scores being 70-8, 74-39, 63-24, 41-65, 69-17, 42-76, 46-83, 65-43.

Sindh’s Sattar recovered from a frame down to post 58-48, 0-83, 60-68, 62-12, 68-33, 58-8, 53-69, 67-53 victory over former Asian No 2 Mohammad Sajjad.

Sattar is due to face Bilal in the best of 11 frames first semi-final which cues-off at 9am. Imran squares off against Shahid in the second semi-final that begins immediately after completion of first.

Results:

Quarter-finals:

Mohammad Bilal (Punjab) bt Khurram Agha (Sindh) 5-1 (80-6, 69-56, 79-47, 0-76, 66-53, 55-25); Abdul Sattar (Sindh) bt Mohammad Sajjad (Punjab) 5-3 (58-48, 0-83, 60-68, 62-12, 68-33, 58-8, 53-69, 67-53); Imran Shehzad (Punjab) bt Mohammad Asif 5-3 (70-8, 74-39, 63-24, 41-65, 69-17, 42-76, 46-83, 65-43); Shahid Aftab (Punjab) bt Amir Tariq (Punjab) 5-1 (61-38, 73-25, 76-30, 30-55, 60-16, 85-32).

Wednesday’s fixtures:

Semi-finals: (best of 11 frames)

Mohammad Bilal (Punjab) v Abdul Sattar (Sindh), Imran Shehzad (Punjab) v Shahid Aftab (Punjab).