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October 14, 2019

Babar overpowers Zulfiqar as Haris, Sajjad beat seeded cueists


October 14, 2019

KARACHI: Holder Babar Masih overpowered second seed Zulfiqar Abdul Qadir on the third day of the 3rd Jubilee Insurance Ranking Snooker Championship 2019 here at the Karachi Gymkhana on Sunday.

In other matches, unseeded Haris Tahir shocked seventh seed Muhammad Ijaz, while Muhammad Sajjad, also unseeded outwitted eighth seed Ahsan Javaid.

Babar, having been at the receiving end a day earlier, returned to top form as Zulfiqar faced the music for the second day running. The defending champion fired a scintillating break of 113 in the fourth frame and settled the issue with another fluent break of 71 in the sixth frame.

Haris displayed great resilience in overcoming seventh seed Ijaz after a tense duel which went to the full distance of seven frames. He fought his way back after conceding the first couple of frames.

He faced bigger threat of losing the game after going down in the fourth frame but played remarkably well under pressure to claim the next three frames on a trot to emerge triumphant.

Sajjad, a three-time former national champion, won the seven-frame thriller against eighth seed Ahsan after a grueling battle. This was Sajjad’s third victory in four outings and placed him at the top of the points table in the Group A.

Top seeded Muhammad Asif and the unseeded Imran Shahzad and Shaikh Mudassir share the second position. Eighth seed Ahsan occupies the fifth position. As many as four cueists, Haris, Ijaz, Babar and Abu Saim, share the top position in the Group B, all of them having won two matches each. Second seed Zulfiqar is the fifth one in the group.

Third seed Asjad Iqbal remains unbeaten in the Group C with three straight victories. Unseeded Abdul Sattar has won three matches and lost one. Sixth seed Naseem Akhtar and unseeded Majid Ali are also in the hunt for a place in the quarter-finals with two victories each.

Fourth seed Muhammad Bilal and fifth seed Mubashir Raza seem virtually assured of their spots in the knockout rounds after having won four matches each in the Group D making it increasingly difficult for Shahid Aftab and Sohail Shahzad to catch up.

The preliminary round matches end on Tuesday (tomorrow) with top two cueists from each of the four groups advancing into quarter-finals which will be held later the same day.

Both the semi-finals are scheduled to be held on Wednesday. The best-of-13-frame final is to take place on Thursday.

Results: Babar Masih (Pjb) bt Zulfiqar Abdul Qadir (Sindh) 4-2 (32-68, 66-51, 75-9, 135-0, 30-71, 71-10); Haris Tahir (Pjb) bt Muhammad Ijaz (Pjb) 4-3 (10-75, 31-59, 88-57, 8-86, 62-2, 53-37, 61-39); Muhammad Sajjad (Pjb) bt Ahsan Javaid (Pjb) 4-3 (7-77, 46-32, 1-65, 74-4, 68-19, 65-67, 66-44); Sultan Muhammad (Sindh) bt Abu Saim (Pjb) 4-2 (0-76, 56-1, 63-52, 58-57, 36-76, 62-31); Mubashir Raza (Pjb) bt Rashid Aziz (Pjb) 4-2 (82-13, 63-18, 57-62, 56-14, 1-97, 75-49); Ahsan Ramzan (Pjb) bt Hamza Ilyas (Pjb) 4-2 (71-35, 68-41, 23-68, 43-72, 75-27, 70-58); Asjad Iqbal (Pjb) bt Muhammad Shahbaz (Pjb) 4-1 (60-2, 92-9, 50-61, 78-9, 65-32); Naseem Akhtar (Pjb) bt Majid Ali (Pjb) 4-1 (86-14, 41-22, 42-78, 53-23, 57-26); Abdul Sattar (Sindh) bt Agha Bilawal (Sindh) 4-2 (50-80, 82-01, 61-11, 57-20, 34-74, 75-5); Muhammad Asif (Pjb) bt Ali Haider (Pjb) 4-3 (30-65, 27-60, 80-09, 63-68, 63-0, 100-0, 92-5); Muhammad Bilal (Pjb) bt Sohail Shahzad (Sindh) 4-3 (54-8, 45-51, 69-21, 64-70, 63-67, 61-23, 73-34); Abu Saim (Pjb) bt Haris Tahir (Pjb) 4-2 (67-35, 54-38, 27-85, 67-29, 64-34, 120-1).

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