Haris manages major upset in national snooker

By our correspondent
LAHORE: Haris Tahir of Punjab engineered a major upset as the 48th NBP National Snooker Championship, featuring 37 top cueists of the country, exploded into action at the NBP Sports Complex Karachi snooker arena on Monday.
Unseeded Haris took a splendid start to his journey when he conquered former national champion and fourth seed Shahid Aftab of Punjab after a gripping affair 4-3.
After losing the first frame 9-106 Haris made a fine comeback when he lifted the second frame 81-20 to level the score. He went on to win the next three frames 69-41 and 65-49 to take 3-1 lead. However, at this stage Shahid Aftab brought discipline in himself and played with great focus to engineer a super fightback. He won the fourth and fifth frames with heavy margins of 54-3, 93-0 to square the show 3-3. Now it was the turn of Haris to retaliate and in the seventh frame he applied the best he had and managed a 66-47 victory to seal a sensational win.
The frame score was 9-106, 81-20, 69-41, 65-49, 03-54, 01-93, 66-47.
Haris then added to his fine start when he defeated Mohammad Faizan of Sindh 4-1 in his Group D to brighten his chances of qualifying for the pre-quarter-finals. The show featured Haris’ fine potting ability and his solid control. He also managed a break of 86 in the second frame. The frame score was 67-47, 58-23, 101-01(86), 23-78(59), 65-11 in favour of Haris.
In the same group Sharjeel Mehmood of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa defeated Muhammad Faizan of Sindh 4-3. This was the second straight loss for Faizan which means that he is now out of the event with just a game in hand as the group carries four cueists.
The frame score was 69-66, 22-92(61), 18-75(62), 63-17, 01-99, 48-39, 53-04 in favour of Sharjeel.
Meanwhile former world champion Mohammad Asif of NBP, who was given wild card entry into the event, came from 3-0 down to whack Abdul Sattar of Sindh 4-3 in his opening Group C fixture. After losing the first three frames Asif showed great maturity, brought into practice his vast international experience and went on to sweep the next four frames to seal a much-needed win. He also fired a solid break of 98 in the seventh and last frame. The frame score remained 19-73, 21-69, 16-82, 61-28, 102-22(51,51, 66-42, 112-13(98) in Asif’s favour.
In the same group Awais Ullah Munair of Punjab downed Farhan Noor of Punjab in straight frames. He also managed a century break (114) in the fourth frame. The frame score was 66-43, 66-53, 79-04, 134-01(114).
In Group B, second seed and last edition’s runner-up Shan Namat of Islamabad defeated Rizwan Hashmi of Sindh 4-0 to take a solid start. The frame score was 69-42, 63-33, 107-09, 53-34.
In the other fixture of the same group seasoned cueist Asjad Iqbal of NBP prevailed over Shah Khan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 4-0 with the frame score being 70-35, 77-30, 63-48, 65-30.
In Group E Adil Khan of Balochistan defeated Fazal Umar of Sindh 4-2 with the frame score of 52-27, 67-48, 46-58, 28-65, 59-46, 84-11. In the same pool Ahsan Ramzan of Punjab got the better of Zaib Khan of Balochistan 4-0. The frame score was 61-46, 81-40, 57-49, 77-16(77).
In Group F Muhammad Naseem Akhtar of Punjab beat Ali Raza of Sindh 4-2 with the frame score being 65-46, 72-45, 01-66, 60-17, 45-66, 64-10.
Pakistan’s seasoned cueist Muhammad Sajjad of NBP defeated Basit Ali of Balochistan 4-0 with the frames score of 66-32, 78-27, 107-27(67), 55-47 while Aakash Rafiq of KP overwhelmed Abdul Rehman of Punjab 4-0 with the frames score of 67-59, 70-40, 67-60, 54-10.
Abdul Javed of Islamabad defeated Saif Ali Khan of Balochistan 4-1 with the frames score of 23-77, 52-09, 59-46, 79-28, 91-0 while international Babar Masih of Punjab defeated Sirbuland Khan of KP 4-0 with the frame score being 52-42, 74-17(63), 142-0(102), 60-08. Babar also managed century break, the second of the day, when he pulled off a 102 break in the third frame.

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