Asif downs Sajjad to win National Ranking Snooker C’ship

KARACHI (Monitoring Desk): Veteran cueist Mohammad Asif on Thursday outplayed his old rival and Mohammad Sajjad 7-4 to win the 3rd Ranking Snooker Championship in Karachi.

It was not the final fans would have wanted to witness as both the players made several glaring misses on certain pots. In the end, fortune favored former world champion Asif.

In the first two of the best-of-13 frames final, Sajjad had decent looks but missed blue in first frame and a red-ball in second to give Asif the opportunity of clearance. Sajjad, after going down two frames at the start, recovered and won four of the next five frames, taking a 4-3 lead at the end of the seventh frame. In the eighth frame, however, Asif punished Sajjad for some costly mistakes and levelled the tie 4-4.

Sajjad started confidently post-lunch but soon lost his way, missing a red and allowing Asif to come back and win the frame. Asif then did not allow Sajjad to play comfortably in the next two frames as he wrapped up the final with a 7-4 victory. His overall score in the final was 61-53, 64-62, 36-78, 13-89, 83-27, 11-54, 38-61, 69-49, 69-64,55-13 and 68-14.

This was the third national-level final between two of the top cueists of the country, with Asif improving his overall finals record against Sajjad to 3-0. The top seeded cueist got Rs100,000 for winning the title, while the runner-up was handed a cash prize of Rs40,000. Naseem Akhtar was given the award for the highest break, for chalking up 134 during the tournament.

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