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August 6, 2018

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NBP Ranking Snooker Championship: Four seeded players lose opening matches

KARACHI: Four seeded players suffered defeats on the opening day of the 10th edition of NBP Ranking Snooker Championship which cued off here at the NBP Sports Complex on Sunday.

Babar Masih, Majid Ali, Ahsan Javaid and Ali Haider went down in their opening games, whileMuhammad Asif, Muhammad Bilal, Sultan Muhammad and Zulfiqar Abdul Qadir won their matches.

Imran Shahzad, a veteran, blew the whistle on third seed Babar, toppling him in straight frames. Muhammad Shahbaz shocked fourth seed Majid in a tense six-frame battle.

Fifth seed Ahsan went down fighting to Umair Alam. Seventh seed Ali was undone by Abdul Javaid in yet another six-frame duel.Top seeded Asif, a former world champion, showed his master class, whacking Sirbuland Khan.

Second seed Bilal defeated Mudassir comfortably. Sixth seed Sultan survived some anxious moments before overpowering Abdullah 4-2.

Eighth seed Zulfiqar was stretched to his fullest means by Sharjeel Mahmood in a seven-frame thriller.

In other matches of significance, Shahid Aftab blanked Muhammad Sajjad, a former world number two, in straight frames; Asif Toba meted out similar treatment to Naseem Akhtar, hailed as the wonder boy of Pakistan snooker after his accomplishments at the under-18 level.

Agha Bilawal was the beneficiary of a lifeline granted to him by the Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA). He was asked to forfeit his match against Ian Mark John by the Tournament Director, Naved Kapadia, after being charged for smoking in the arena. He was leading 3-2 when the incident occurred during the sixth frame. The PBSA officials, however, decided to penalise him only for one frame in which he was found guilty of smoking.

He edged out his rival in the specially arranged seventh frame to win the match, which he was notified to have lost.

Results: Muhammad Asif (Pjb) bt Sirbuland Khan (KP) 4-0 (131-0, 79-22, 71-26, 81-54); Muhammad Bilal (Pjb) bt Shaikh Mudassir (Pjb) 4-1 (64-7, 49-73, 68-28, 58-55, 78-15); Imran Shahzad (Pjb) bt Babar Masih (Pjb) 4-0 (68-24, 64-17, 70-52, 72-55); Muhammad Shahbaz (Pjb) bt Majid Ali (Pjb) 4-2 (67-23, 7-65, 69-61, 52-44, 28-99, 56-28); Umair Alam (Sindh) bt Ahsan Javaid (Pjb) 4-2 (74-11, 68-0, 0-87, 58-28, 51-65, 74-35); Sultan Muhammad (Sindh) bt Abdullah (KP) 4-2 (48-58, 71-27, 54-42, 62-49, 49-61, 73-6); Abdul Javaid (Pjb) bt Ali Haider (Pjb) 4-2 (28-81, 52-73, 74-9, 68-47, 65-26, 50-22); Zulfiqar A Qadir (Sindh) bt Sharjeel Mahmood (KP) 4-3 (47-62, 69-25, 31-63, 66-63, 71-13, 75-63, 66-45); Agha Bilawal (Sindh) bt Ian Mark John (Sindh) 4-3 (45-75, 57-21, 72-16, 0-121, 71-46, 0-1, 58-51); Shahid Aftab (Pjb) bt Muhammad Sajjad (Pjb) 4-0 (89-6, 83-22, 54-28, 57-48); Sohail Shahzad (Sindh) bt Muhammad Umar (Pjb) 4-1 (72-10, 71-59, 54-53, 59-90, 76-35); Musaddiq Mahmood (Isb) bt Qadeer Abbas (Pjb) 4-2 (70-28, 24-75, 77-15, 71-34, 14-70, 61-58); Muhammad Faizan (Sindh) bt Aakash Rafique (KP) 4-2 (56-41, 31-71, 70-29, 27-63, 80-40, 66-25); Asif Toba (Pjb) bt Naseem Akhtar (Pjb) 4-0 (66-22, 77-16, 61-0, 49-2); Asjad Iqbal (Pjb) bt Haris Tahir (Pjb) 4-2 (41-73, 71-0, 66-1, 6-83, 68-5, 58-51); Abdul Sattar (Sindh) bt Usman Ahmad (Pjb) 4-2 (62-29, 2-83, 31-74, 67-22, 78-31, 22-56).

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