THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, KARACHI, 26th SEPTEMBER 2013: The Jubilee Insurance 3rd Ranking Snooker Championship saw another major shock yesterday as Shahid Aftab stunned top seed Imran Shehzad 6-3 in the semi-final.
Aftab will now take on Abdul Sattar in the best-of-13 final today.
Major contenders like Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Sajjad, Asjad Iqbal, Humza Akbar and Mohammad Majid were all sent packing with Shehzad – deemed as favourite to win the title – becoming the latest surprise casualty yesterday.
Aftab got off to a flying start, taking a 2-0 lead but Shehzad bounced back to bring the tie to even terms. The next four frames were tightly contested but it was Aftab who prevailed with scores of 87-38, 65-25, 34-67, 34-74, 70-65, 75-45, 70-53, 56-61 and 56-03.
Shehzad believed his opponent had luck on his side which helped him seal a place in the final.
“I feel luck was on Shahid’s side and it is a fact which he himself admitted,” Shehzad told The Express Tribune.
“Even his misplaced shots were getting automatically saved whereas my shots weren’t and he was getting easy openings on those misses. Shahid took full advantage of those misses and went on to win the match but it was a cracker of a game.”
He added that Aftab showed nerves of steel in the fifth frame and lauded the confidence with which he was playing.
“I built up a lead of 65 points in the fifth game but missed a black on a crucial point but Shahid gave me no chance as he scored a clearance of 71 points. I was looking to win the title but couldn’t, however, I’m happy that my place is confirmed in Pakistan’s squad for the upcoming IBSF World Championship.”
The other semi-final between Abdul Sattar and Mohammad Bilal, who had shocked everyone with his performances in this competition, was a contrasting clash as Sattar triumphed 6-2 with ease.
Bilal had an impressive run in the tournament but Sattar proved to be too good for him, as he lost with a scoreline of 95-27, 54-81, 82-14 (82), 68-08, 90-29, 48-70, 105-20 and 66-17.