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Sajjad marches into National Snooker semis

08 February, 2012

KARACHI: Mohammad Sajjad, aiming to clinch the crown for the third time in five years, stormed into the semifinals of the Jubilee Insurance 37th National Snooker Championship 2012 being played here at the Karachi Gymkhana.

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Fifth seed Sajjad routed third seed Sharjeel Mahmood in the quarter-finals where Sultan Mohammad caused an upset by toppling sixth seed Abdul Sattar. Second seed Mohammad Asif made the last four by overpowering Sohail Shahzad and Naveen Perwani, another former champion, blew the whistle on the high-flying Vishan Gir in the quarters.

Both the best of 11-frame semifinals, to be televised live on Geo Super, will be held on Wednesday (today). In the first pre-final, due to start at 10 am, Sultan Mohammad will be pitted against Naveen Perwani while the encounter between Mohammmad Sajjad and Mohammad Asif will commence at 2 pm.

Sajjad, having clinched the national title in 2008 and 2010, has appeared in terrific form and he was absolutely brilliant while trouncing Sharjeel Mahmood of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in straight frames with the scores of 57-45, 58-13, 134-1, 58-50, 94-37.

Hailing from the town of Sargodha, Sajjad chalked up a magnificent break of 127 in the third frame, which became the highest break of the competition so far, eclipsing 117 registered by Naveen Perwani the other day.

Second seed Mohammad Asif, who had captured the national title in 2009, was made to work extremely hard by the experienced local cueist Sohail Shahzad before winning it 5-3 with the scores of 24-65, 43-42, 93-1, 25-65, 63-20, 60-25, 18-76, 69-57.

Asif, belonging to Faisalabad, was in danger of going 0-2 down but he narrowly won the second frame to make it 1-1, after having lost the first one. He fired a break of 79 to take home the third frame but Sohail fought back to snatch the next one. Asif went into lead by pocketing the fifth frame and doubled it soon. Sohail narrowed the deficit by collecting seventh frame before Asif sealed the fate of the match in the eighth frame.

The quality of snooker in the tie between Naveen Perwani and Vishan Gir, both of them from the province of Sindh, was also of high class with the former winning it 5-2 with the scores of 73-14, 86-28, 1-108, 72-47, 36-61, 75-39, 69-41. Gir had performed superbly in the earlier games but he couldn’t come to terms with his more experienced rival.

In another all-Sindh quarter-final unseeded Sultan Mohammad prevailed over sixth seed Abdul Sattar, winning it 5-2 with the scores of 74-67, 68-35, 7-53, 70-48, 2-51, 55-44, 63-42.

End.