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Sports

February 15, 2018

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Snooker: Aakash causes upset

KARACHI: Unseeded Aakash Rafique caused an upset by blasting fourth seed Shahid Aftab on the third day of league matches of the Jubilee Insurance 43rd National Snooker Championship 2018 here at the Karachi Gymkhana on Wednesday.

Top seeded Asjad Iqbal, second seed Muhammad Asif, third seed Muhammad Bilal, sixth seed Zulfiqar Abdul Qadir and eighth seed Babar Masih extended their unbeaten run while fifth seed Mubashir Raza and seventh seed Khurram Hussain Agha, having been at the receiving end in the earlier matches, came back in the reckoning after overpowering their respective rivals.

At the halfway stage of the preliminary rounds, Asjad Iqbal and Muhammad Imran share the top position in the Group A with a couple of victories each while Muhammad Asif, a former world champion, and Muhammad Naseem Akhtar, the reigning Under-18 world champion, have done the same in the Group B.

Muhammad Bilal has virtually ensured his place in the pre-quarter-finals from the Group C by having won his first four matches with Usman Ahmed placed second with three wins from four outings.

Aakash Rafique has moved to the top slot in the Group D with three victories in as many games while Shahid Aftab is at second position with three wins in four attempts. Unseeded Qadeer Abbas leads the charts in the Group E with three straight wins while Muhammad Majid Ali, a wild card entrant, has won both his matches. Zulfiqar Abdul Qadir is sitting at the top in the Group F with three wins on a trot while Muhammad Ahsan Javaid is placed at number two.

Abdul Sattar stands tall in the Group G by having both his matches and Babar Masih has done likewise in the Group F. The preliminary round, being contested by 54 cueists, will continue for three more days at the end of which top two cueists from each of the eight groups will qualify for the knockout phase.

Results: Asjad Iqbal (Pjb) bt Muhammad Imran (KPK) 4-1 (29-60, 80-43, 79-15, 73-1, 61-13); Muhammad Asif (Pjb) bt Rashid Mahmood Abbasi (Isb) 4-1 (95-20, 8-64, 60-31, 49-22, 68-29); Ali Haider (Pjb) bt Shaikh Muhammad Mudassir (Pjb) 4-0 (63-37, 66-52, 86-48, 78-37); Muhammad Umar (Pjb) bt Haris Nadeem (Sindh) 4-2 (63-29, 32-76, 47-73, 68-37, 82-19, 64-56); Ian Mark John (Sindh) bt Jahangir Yar Muhammad (Bal) 4-0 (walkover); Muhammad Naseem Akhtar (Pjb) bt Sirbuland Khan (KP) 4-3 (41-64, 57-34, 64-40, 68-22, 16-63, 47-52, 68-40); Muhammad Bilal (Pjb) bt Turyali Aziz (Bal) 4-1 (109-0, 105-13, 49-74, 81-22, 78-33); Aakash Rafiq (KP) bt Shahid Aftab (Pjb) 4-1 (54-40, 67-28, 0-95, 74-37, 69-30); Usman Ahmad (Pjb) bt Aamir Sohail (KPK) 4-0 (69-55, 75-6, 59-46, 55-41); Muhammad Shahbaz (Pjb) bt Farhan Noor (Pjb) 4-0 (78-38, 69-28, 65-58, 62-55); Agha Bilawal (Sindh) bt Mahmood Khan (Bal) 4-0 (76-1, 44-14, 66-03, 1-0); Musaddiq Mahmood (Isb) bt Saif Ali Khan (Bal) 4-1 (46-57, 60-11, 51-28, 63-30, 57-23); Mubashir Raza (Pjb) bt Muhammad Abdullah (KP) 4-1 (75-13, 76-10, 45-61, 99-1, 65-56); Zulfiqar Abdul Qadir (Sindh) bt Saeed Ahmed (Bal) 4-2 (28-62, 72-14, 58-52, 64-68, 63-31, 60-4); Muhammad Faizan (Sindh) bt Muhammad Ishtaiq (Sindh) 4-1 (8-86, 64-52, 57-22, 45-15, 1-0); Muhammad Ahsan Javaid (Pjb) bt Awaisullah (Pjb) 4-2 (85-47, 61-38, 71-52, 2-69, 5-71, 59-45); Qadeer Abbas (Pjb) bt Bahadur Khan (Bal) 4-1 (54-63, 77-6, 1-0, 1-0, 1-0); Rambail Gul (KP) bt Umair Alam (Sindh) 4-1 (20-38, 69-28, 63-58, 69-55, 60-14); Abdul Sattar (Sindh) bt Imran Shahzad (Pjb) 4-2 (7-83, 67-40, 90-21, 46-63, 76-08, 55-27); Sharjeel Mahmood (KP) bt Muhammad Ijaz (Pjb) 4-3 (27-93, 82-41, 81-79, 78-48, 12-79, 13-69, 67-27); Aamir Shahzad (KP) bt Muhammad Sajjad (Pjb) 4-2 (34-81, 55-15, 70-30, 24-64, 61-8, 54-46); Sultan Muhammad (Sindh) bt Noman Javed (Isb) 4-3 (78-22, 42-58, 51-52, 71-51, 10-79, 118-4, 76-48); Muhammad Bilal (Pjb) bt Aamir Sohail (Pjb) 4-0 (58-44, 77-45, 67-39, 65-5); Shahid Aftab (Pjb) bt Farhan Noor (Pjb) 4-3 (46-59, 71-60, 40-54, 5-64, 66-52, 46-41, 72-9); Usman Ahmad (Pjb) bt Mahmood Khan (Bal) 4-0 (71-46, 68-53, 76-15, 51-26); Muhammad Shahbaz (Pjb) bt Saif Ali Khan (Bal) 4-0 (64-33, 60-8, 70-52, 62-12).

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