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Asjad, Toba storm into NBP Ranking Snooker last-16

Sports

August 9, 2018

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KARACHI: Defending champion Asjad Iqbal, with the unseeded trio of Muhammad Shahbaz, Asif Toba and Sharjeel Mahmood, stormed into the pre-quarter-finals of NBP Ranking Snooker Championship here at the NBP Sports Complex.

The preliminary round matches of the event, being contested by 40 cueists, will conclude on Thursday (today) at the end of which the top two performers from each group will advance to the knockout rounds starting on Friday (tomorrow).

Top seeded Muhammad Asif has booked his place in the pre-quarters from the Group A, heading it with three successive victories. Agha Bilawal, Rashid Mahmood Abbasi, Sirbuland Khan and Ian Mark John have a chance of taking the runner-up spot going into the final day of league matches.

Both the knockout slots are up for the grabs in the Group B, C and E. With three straight victories, second seed Muhammad Bilal is the favourite to top the Group B where the experienced trio of Khurram Hussain Agha, Shahid Aftab and Muhammad Sajjad is battling out for the runner-up slot.

Third seed Babar Masih and unseeded Sohail Shahzad are in strong position to progress to the last-16 stage from the Group C. Fifth seed Ahsan Javaid seems o be in trouble in the Group as he trails behind Umair Alam, Muhammad Faizan and Aakash Rafique.

With unseeded Muhammad Shahbaz having secured his place in the pre-quarters from the Group D, fourth seed Majid Ali finds himself in a spot of bother with Qadeer Abbas and Musaddiq Mahmood also staking claims in the Group E.

Unseeded Asif Toba, with three victories on a trot, has stormed into the knockout rounds from the Group F where sixth seed Sultan Muhammad faces a challenge from Rambail Gul and Naseem Akhtar. Holder Asjad Iqbal has done his chances of retaining the title no harm by qualifying for the pre-quarters from the Group G.

Seventh seed Ali Haider is struggling to avoid elimination, having lost his first couple of matches which has kept Mubashir Raza, Haris Tahir and Abdul Javaid in the hunt.

The top-16 slots from the Group H have already been decided as eighth seed Zulfiqar Abdul Qadir and unseeded Sharjeel Mahmood have won three matches each.

Results: Umair Alam (Sindh) bt Muhammad Faizan (Sindh) 4-1 (56-9, 62-26, 58-18, 33-67, 60-14); Asif Toba (Pjb) bt Abdullah (KP) 4-1 (50-61, 67-11, 60-36, 55-23, 75-13); Abdul Javaid (Pjb) bt Haris Tahir (Pjb) 4-2 (16-62, 08-57, 63-31, 66-48, 72-53, 74-48); Sharjeel Mahmood (KP) bt Usman Ahmad (Pjb) 4-2 (68-0, 53-11, 52-79, 43-65, 73-31, 91-8); Ian Mark John (Sindh) bt Sirbuland Khan (KP) 4-2 (37-58, 9-74, 76-43, 78-30, 72-46, 61-13); Muhammad Sajjad (Pjb) bt Shaikh Mudassir (Pjb) 4-3 (0-111, 47-62, 55-26, 81-9, 33-76, 77-04, 71-0); Imran Shahzad (Pjb) bt Muhammad Umar (Pjb) 4-1 (64-19, 75-6, 80-45, 60-71, 72-42); Muhammad Shahbaz (Pjb) bt Musaddiq Mahmood (Isb) 4-3 (117-5, 55-57, 35-57, 65-50, 78-44, 30-78, 53-37); Aakash Rafique (KP) bt Muhammad Imran (KP) 4-0 (56-12, 70-46, 67-27, 72-9); Rambail Gul (KP) bt Naseem Akhtar (Pjb) 4-2 (99-2, 84-30, 66-40, 24-86, 22-61, 50-41); Asjad Iqbal (Pjb) bt Mubashir Raza (Pjb) 4-2 (40-80, 74-55, 39-96, 61-51, 75-30, 67-30); Farhan Noor (Pjb) bt Abdul Sattar (Sindh) 4-2 (72-17, 67-41, 24-73, 38-62, 66-40, 62-50); Rashid Mahmood Abbasi (Isb) bt Agha Bilawal (Sindh) 4-3 (63-44, 61-0, 71-42, 41-85, 42-61, 25-69, 63-38); Khurram Hussain Agha (Sindh) bt Shahid Aftab (Pjb) 4-2 (68-9, 30-79, 65-40, 71-35, 14-79, 54-10); Muhammad Ijaz (Pjb) bt Sohail Shahzad (Sindh) 4-3 (11-77, 53-67, 90-22, 46-19, 60-10, 54-62, 95-43).

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