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Asif and Asjad to clash in snooker final today Back To Main


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Syed Khalid Mahmood

KARACHI: Top seeded Mohammad Asif and unseeded Asjad Iqbal will clash in the final of the 4th NBP Ranking Snooker Championship 2012 after they eliminated Mohammad Majid and Shehram Changezi, respectively, in the semifinals here at the Defence Authority Creek Club on Monday.

Asif, the reigning national champion, won the all-Faisalabad semifinal against Majid, one of the discoveries of the national junior circuit, 6-4 with the frame scores of 113-8, 55-47, 40-80, 60-62, 91-20, 0-95, 81-39, 70-61, 67-79, 69-56.

Asjad, a youngster from Sargodha, downed Shehram, the wild card entrant from Islamabad, 6-4 with the frame scores being 50-53, 74-6, 52-45, 26-73, 69-58, 85-46, 33-70, 69-34, 30-66, 61-54.

The final, to be telecast live on Geo Super, will be played on Tuesday (today). It will start at 9am. Both the semifinals turned out to be absorbing contests, showcasing Pakistan’s snooker talent with Asjad and Majid, two of the most promising youngsters of the country, displaying maturity beyond their age.

Asif, who was first crowned as the national champion in 2009 before regaining it earlier this year, had to bring all his expertise into play to edge out Majid, who made his maiden appearance in the semifinal of a national ranking event.

Top seeded Asif started with a bang, chalking up a break of 97 in the opening frame. He doubled his lead by pocketing the second frame before Majid fought back to take the next two frames and made it 2-all.

Asif fired another superb break of 56 in the fifth frame to go 3-2 up but Majid made it 3-all by winning the sixth frame.

Tense fight ensued in the eighth frame which Asif clinched to inch closer to victory. But Majid was not finished yet. He kept the contest alive by clinching the ninth frame. He, however, ran out of steam after a close fight in the tenth and final frame.

Youth prevailed over experience in the second semifinal, however, as Asjad held his nerves to outwit Shehram after a marathon 10-frame encounter.

Shehram drew the first blood by narrowly winning the first frame but Asjad won the next two to go 2-1 up. The former drew level by taking fourth frame but the youngster consolidated his position by taking the next two frames to make it 4-2.

Shehram won the seventh frame to stay afloat but Asjad regained two-frame lead by winning the next one. Shehram continued to fight and grabbed the ninth frame to make it 4-5. But Asjad sealed the fate of the match by winning the tenth frame.