World Snooker Championships: Pakistan’s campaign in Egypt ends with loss in 6-Red

Survivors Iqbal, Shehzad beaten in tournament’s last-16 matches

Our Correspondent July 31, 2016
Iqbal was the best hope for Pakistan as he was the most experienced among his compatriots, but all hopes ended with his exit. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Another international championship witnessed another mediocre performance by Pakistan’s snooker players, as they failed to go beyond the last-16 stage of the IBSF World 6-Red Championship after crashing out of World Team Championship in the quarter-finals.

Pakistan’s best hope Asjad Iqbal was pipped 4-3 by Wales’ Darren Morgan in their closely fought last-16 match in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Morgan enjoyed a better start in the match as he won the first two frames. But Iqbal ensured that he remained in the match and equalised by winning the third and fourth frames.

The fifth frame was the highlight of the match as the two cueists were separated by mere two points and it was Iqbal who broke through to gain a 3-2 lead.

All eyes on Asjad and Sohail

However, Morgan came up with the best of replies under pressure as he accumulated a 72-point break to even the game.

In the decider, Morgan held his nerve and went on to win by scores of 69-01, 40-15, 23-61, 00-53, 32-34, 72 (72)-00, 46-04.

Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA) President Alamgir Sheikh termed the performance disappointing.

“There is no doubt that the performance is disappointing as we were hoping for better results,” Sheikh told The Express Tribune. “We gave a chance to the young players but they struggled. I don’t consider appearance in last-16 or quarter-finals satisfactory.”

World 6-Red Championship: Iqbal, Shehzad make it to last-32

Meanwhile, Sohail Shehzad was beaten 4-2 by India’s Sourav Khatri in their last-16 encounter in another close affair.

There was very little to choose between the two players throughout the game, and the only one-sided frame went to Shehzad, who struck a 68-point break in the third frame. But eventually, Khatri dominated and triumphed with a scoreline of 28-27, 29-24, 00-68, 33-22, 12-42, 30-02.

On the other hand, the 11th-seeded Iranian pair of Amir Sarkosh and Soheil Vahedi stunned top seeds Chen Zifan and Yuan Sijun of China 5-2 to win the World Team Championship title.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2016.

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