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September 12, 2018

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Three seeded cueists taste defeat

KARACHI: The seeded trio of Majid Ali, Muhammad Ijaz and Zulfiqar Abdul Qadir tasted defeat on the opening day of the Jubilee Insurance Ranking Snooker Championship 2018 here at the Karachi Gymkhana on Tuesday.

The other five seeded cueists, Muhammad Asif, Babar Masih, Muhammad Bilal, Aakash Rafique and Asjad Iqbal, started the campaign on a winning note.Local youngster Umair Alam created the first upset as he toppled third seed Majid Ali 4-2.

Unseeded Abdul Sattar blanked sixth seed Zulfiqar Abdul Qadir in straight frames.Haris Tahir, one of the most promising youngsters to have emerged from Punjab, caused another sensation by whacking fifth seed Muhammad Ijaz, also from Punjab, in straight frames.

Top seed and defending champion Muhammad Asif came up with a clinical performance as he emerged triumphant in both his matches on the opening day. He outclassed Sirbuland Khan in straight frames before meting out similar treatment to Agha Bilawal.

Second seed Babar Masih also won both his matches. But unlike Asif, he was extended to full seven frames by both his opponents, Muhammad Shahbaz and Naseem Akhtar. Fourth seed Muhammad Bilal also had to endure tough competition before edging out both his rivals. He overcame Ali Haider 4-2 but had to bring all his expertise into play to outwit the dangerous Haris Tahir in a tough seven-frame battle.

Seventh seed Aakash Rafique was required to play his top game to overcome Naseem Akhtar, hailed as the most skilled young cueist of the country. Eighth seed Asjad Iqbal was in total control during the course of his 4-1 win over Agha Bilawal.

All the cueists will be playing five matches in the preliminary rounds at the end of which the top two cueists from each group will advance to the quarter-finals, which will be played on Saturday.

Results: Muhammad Asif (Punjab) bt Sirbuland Khan (KP) 4-0 (72-36, 58-20, 66-53, 69-15); Babar Masih (Punjab) bt Muhammad Shahbaz (Punjab) 4-3 (63-72, 24-83, 66-28, 81-41, 48-60, 59-21, 67-20); Umair Alam (Sindh) bt Majid Ali (Punjab) 4-2 (24-59, 50-42, 73-44, 8-119, 48-40, 70-57); Muhammad Bilal (Punjab) bt Ali Haider (Punjab) 4-2 (37-66, 68-21, 64-44, 45-32, 45-58, 58-15); Asjad Iqbal (Punjab) bt Agha Bilawal (Sindh) 4-1 (44-56, 48-39, 70-23, 64-7, 66-30); Aakash Rafique (KP) bt Naseem Akhtar (Punjab) 4-2 (37-66, 68-21, 64-44, 45-32, 45-58, 58-15); Abdul Sattar (Sindh) bt Zulfiqar Abdul Qadir (Sindh) 4-0 (59-42, 46-18, 68-40, 57-32); Haris Tahir (Punjab) bt Muhammad Ijaz (Punjab) 4-0 (62-42, 73-58, 84-33, 69-37); Asif Toba (Punjab) bt Sohail Shahzad (Sindh) 4-2 (69-44, 4-82, 72-64, 31-84, 60-53, 74-8); Sharjeel Mahmood (KP) bt Khurram Hussain Agha (Sindh) 4-2 (36-46, 43-57, 69-7, 58-55, 72-0, 62-56); Rambail Gul (KP) bt Ahsan Javaid (Punjab) 4-0 (68-51, 55-25, 67-38, 50-3); Shahid Aftab (Punjab) bt Sultan Muhammad (Sindh) 4-3 (42-71, 62-57, 71-51, 6-71, 11-70, 104-1, 69-7); Muhammad Asif (Punjab) bt Agha Bilawal (Sindh) 4-0 (66-12, 69-34, 67-43, 80-45); Babar Masih (Punjab) bt Naseem Akhtar (Punjab) 4-3 (57-62, 16-71, 37-58, 58-66, 61-15, 71-16, 70-21); Majid Ali (Punjab) bt Abdul Sattar (Sindh) 4-2 (15-9, 73-17, 71-23, 55-48, 2-59, 69-26); Muhammad Bilal (Punjab) bt Haris Tahir (Punjab) 4-3 (76-55, 0-86(86), 66-06, 52-65, 35-65, 63-55, 58-22).

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