August 18, 2014

Seven home cueists enter Jubilee Insurance 6-Red snooker knockout phase


By Syed Khalid Mahmood 
(Pakistan News &  Features Services) 

As many as seven of the eight participating Pakistan’s cueists stormed into the knockout stage of the 11-nation Jubilee Insurance 3rd 6-Red Snooker Championship 2014 whose league matches concluded at Hotel Avari Towers, Karachi, on August 18. 

Mohammad Asif, Shahid Aftab, Asif Toba, Hamza Akbar, Asjad Iqbal, Sohail Shahzad and Mohammad Sajjad forced their way into the pre-quarter-finals with Abdul Sattar being the lone home cueist to miss the boat after two days of league matches. 

A total of 37 cueists from 11 countries had entered the fray and now it’s down to the knockout phase with 16 cueists having cleared the first hurdle. The pre-quarter-finals and the quarter-finals will be held on August 19 while the semifinals and final will be taking place on August 20. The four-day tournament will followed by the 2nd Asian Team Event, starting on August 21. 

Third seed Kamal Chawla of India, sixth seed Mohsen Bukshaisha of Qatar and eighth seed Mutaz Saleymeh of Palestine failed to qualify for the knockout stage of the competition and besides the seven home cueists those having entered the pre-quarters are Ang Boon Chin (Singapore), Hossein Vafaei Ayouri (Iran), Amir Sarkosh (Iran), Chau Hon Man (Hong Kong), Boonyarit Kaettikun (Thailand), Omar Alkojah (Syria), Saleh Mohammad (Afghanistan), Au Chi Wai (Hong Kong) and Rahul Ajay Sachdev (India). 

Top seeded Mohammad Asif, the 2012 world champion and the top seed for the event, and unseeded Ang Boon Chin qualified for the next round from the Group A ahead of Mohammad Raees Senzai of Afghanistan, who was ranked second in the group. 

Second seed Hossein Vafaei Ayouri, who annexed the world crown in 2011, emerged the Group B champion by taming Shahid Aftab, who also advanced to the next round. India’s premier cueist and third seed Kamal Chawla was eliminated as the top two slots in the Group C were shared between the unseeded duo of Amir Sarkosh and Asif Toba. 

Fourth seed Chau Hon Man and Hamza Akbar took the top two slots in the Group D while fifth seed Boonyarit Kaettikun and Asjad Iqbal qualified from the Group E.

The unseeded duo of Omar Alkojah and Sohail Shahzad stormed in the pre-quarters from the Group F as sixth seed Mohsen Bukshaisha was sent packing early. 

Seventh seed Saleh Mohammad and Au Chi Wai shared the top two positions in the Group G while the unseeded pair of Mohammad Sajjad and Rahul Ajay Sachdev moved innto the next round ahead of eighth seed Mutaz Saleymeh. 

The performance of top seeded Mohammad Asif gladdened the hearts of his supporters as he managed to win all four league matches. Mohammad Sajjad also remained unbeaten in the league matches, as did Hossein Vafaei Ayouri and Chau Hon Man. 

Close encounters are expected in the knockout phase as the pre-quarter-finals will be spread over two sessions on August 19. The morning session will start at 10 am and the remaining four fixtures will start at 1 pm. All are quarter-finals are due to commence later in the evening, at 5 pm.


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