KARACHI: Former amateur world champion Mohammad Asif kept himself in contention at the IBSF 6-Red World Championship after beating India’s Ketan Chawla 4-1 on day two at the Movenpick Hotel in Karachi.
Asif has now recorded two victories in three matches in his five-man Group P. He got off to a winning start on the championship’s opening day after defeating UAE’s Mohammed alShamsi 4-0, but lost his second match 4-3 to Iran’s Hamed Zarehdoust after a thrilling seven-frame encounter.
However, the Faisalabad-based cueist made amends for the loss as he began his third match the following day in a dominant manner, notching a 73-point break and missing the perfect 75 by just two points. He went on to beat Chawla by a scoreline of 73-00, 35-31, 30-34, 35-02 and 51-13.
“I was under pressure after losing my second match, so to hit a 73-point break against Chawla helped settle my nerves,” Asif told The Express Tribune. “After that, I was able to play with ease and consequently won the game.”
On the other hand, there was no stopping Mohammad Sajjad, who has now won four straight matches to go through to the last-48 (knockout stage).
In his latest match, Sajjad won 4-2 against UAE’s Khalid Kamali, registering scores of 42-01, 45-0, 29-38, 60-05(56), 0-42 and 39-15.
Hong Kong’s Lee Chun Wai accompanied Sajjad from Group C into the next stage.
Compatriot Shahram Changezi also sailed into the last-48 by winning four out of his five matches, while his last match had yet to finish till the filing of this report.
Shahram had to work hard in his fourth game as he recovered from 2-0 down to win 4-2 against England’s Chris Hart with scores of 16-38, 04-58, 44-15, 63-01, 44-06(44) and 37-30.
Additionally, Mohammad Majid Ali and Babar Masih progressed to the knockout stages after winning three and four matches respectively in their groups.
Meanwhile, Chinese sensation Yan Bingtao, who became the youngest amateur champion last year when he beat Sajjad 8-7 in the final, stormed into last-48 as well, winning three out of three matches so far in Group L. He next faces Pakistan’s Asjad Iqbal in the group.
India’s Pankaj Advani, another former IBSF world champion, also sealed his spot in the knockouts and his latest rout saw Egypt’s Mohamed Khairy being beaten 4-1.