Snooker championship reaches last-16 stage

KARACHI: Sultan Mohammad, once Pakistan’s second best player behind Mohammad Asif, has finally upped his game after a string of poor performances. He is now set to face Abdul Sattar in the pre-quarter finals of the 39th Jubilee Insurance National Snooker championship.

In other encounters, former national champion Mohammad Sajjad will lock horns with Imran Shehzad in arguably the most closely-contested match of the last-16. Sohail Shehzad will on the other hand face Aakash Rafique.

Mohammad Asif Toba who is also making a comeback will fight youngster Amir Tariq, while Shahram Changezi will play Mohammad Bilal in the morning session at the Karachi Gymkhana.

After an interval the afternoon session will include a contest between former world champion Mohammad Asif who will face Abu Saim as he looks to re-establish his supremacy after losing his world crown. Meanwhile, another talented player Asjad Iqbal will vie with Shahid Aftab in a tough contest.

There will also be a battle against top junior players with Mohammad Majid Ali and another young sensation Hamza Akbar battling each other for a place in last-eight.

Sultan overcomes Imran

In the last round of the group matches, Sultan got the better of Imran Shehzad, winning 4-2 with scores of 90-08(84), 22-102(77), 75-40, 15-87, 63-48 and 83-69, while Asif triumphed 4-1 against Tariq.

Aftab had to dig deep in order to prevail against another former world champion Mohammad Yousuf 4-3. The former was 3-2 down at one stage, but he held his nerves to win the last two frames ending up victorious with a score-line of 84-28, 67-22, 34-83, 17-71, 49-65, 53-17 and 73-31.

Meanwhile, Sajjad was in prime form on the day, thrashing Abu Saim in straight frames, while scoring a 128-point break in the match. Sajjad’s destruction of Saim was performed with a score-line of 65-56, 82-12, 96-06 and 128-08(128).

Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2014.

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