Hype ends as Asif, Babar crash out; team event starts today

KARACHI: The last three days hype came to an abrupt end when Pakistan’s aspirants Mohammad Asif and Babar Masih crashed out in the quarter-finals of the fifth Asian 6-Reds snooker championship at Abu Dhabi on Saturday night.

According to results available here on Sunday, former world amateur snooker champion, Asif fell prey to Indian celebrity Pankaj Advani 6-2 in the best of 11 frames quarter-finals. Asif managed to win only two frames to reduce the deficit 2-3 before surrendering the battle.

Advani, who had many world titles of different versions of the baize game under his belt, won the duel 43-4, 39-4, 63-12, 18-27, 29-40, 44-4, 49-0, 49-8 to live up to his billing.

On the other hand, Pakistan No. 4 Babar fought back twice to draw level two-all and then three-all mustering two splendid breaks of 72 apiece in the third and sixth frames before losing the following three frames to Afghanistan’s Mohammad Rais Senzahi to make exit.

The Afghan cueist won the battle 41-14, 44-0, 0-72, 21-29, 34-24, 0-72, 33-20, 43-7, 42-0.

In the two other quarters, Malaysian Keen Hoo Moh overcame UAE’s Mohamed Shehab 6-4 while Indian Aditya Mehta outclassed Hong Kong’s Chi Wai Au 6-1.

Later, Advani and Moh set a title clash after registering emphatic victories over their opponents in the semi-finals. In an all-India clash, the former whipped Mehta 6-1 while the latter romped home 6-3 over Senzahi. The final was in progress at the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, the team event begins on Monday. Pakistan has fielded two teams – I and II – in the competition. The team I comprised Asif ans Asjad Iqbal while the team II consists of Bilal and Babar.

According to draws, Pakistan I faces Iraq and UAE II while Pakistan II takes on Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in separate sessions on Monday.

Results:

Quarter-finals: Mohammad Rais Senzahi (Afghanistan) bt Baber Masih 6-3 (41-14, 44-0, 0-72, 21-29, 34-24, 0-72, 33-20, 43-7, 42-0); Pankaj Advani (India) bt Mohammad Asif 6-2 (43-4, 39-4, 63-12, 18-27, 29-40, 44-4, 49-0, 49-8).