THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, KARACHI, 03rd OCTOBER 2013: Pakistan continued their outstanding start to the IBSF 6-Red and Team World Championships as they remained undefeated on day three as well – till the filing of this report – in Carlow, Ireland.
Pakistan defeated Ireland 3-2 in one of the two matches they played in the Team Championship yesterday.
Mohammad Asif started brightly against Ireland’s Daniel Dempsey in the opening frame of the match as he won with ease.
However, it was the other way round in the second frame as Ireland hit back, courtesy of Jason Devaney as he upstaged Muhammad Sajjad to draw parity.
With the match evenly poised at 1-1, Pakistan did well in the doubles frame to restore their lead as they easily won against the Irish duo. Sajjad then doubled the lead for Pakistan in the next singles’ frame to put the team on course for victory.
Asif lost the last frame but Pakistan won overall with scores of 68-12, 23-87, 84-04, 60-35 and 24-82.
In the other match, Pakistan routed Finland 5-0 as they cruised to victory with a scoreline of 79-21, 93-26, 50-03, 89-16 and 75-06.
So far, Pakistan have won all three of their matches.
Asif, Sajjad shine in 6-red event as well
IBSF World Champion and Asian 6-Red winner Asif won his third consecutive match in the 6-Red competition as he pipped Ireland’s Jason Devaney 4-3.
Asif initially trailed by a frame but then won three frames to go 3-1 up. However, Devaney fought back to bring the match on level terms at 3-3 but Asif showed why he is the world champion as he retained his nerve to win the decider. He won with scores of 12-58, 36-22, 44-01, 41-11, 12-37, 32-34 and 43-23.
Sajjad too continued his run, winning his second match against French cueist Ahmed Benraïssi 4-0 with scores of 35-23, 30-0, 37-0 and 55-0.
Real test is yet to come: Yousuf
Meanwhile, former world champion Mohammad Yousuf warned the Pakistan players not to get complacent as the rest test will begin in the knockout stages of the tournament.
“It’s a great start for Pakistan,” Yousuf told The Express Tribune.
“But they must not get carried away with these results as their real test is yet to come. In the group stages, you don’t get to play against the best players in the event and a player is only really tested when the tournament reaches its knockout stages.”
Yousuf stressed that it is all about handling pressure in big events, something Asif is used to doing whereas Sajjad needs to prove himself now as well.
“Asif has gone past that stage where a player gets nervous in the knockout matches which is why he is the world champion but Sajjad needs to stand up too. If he overcomes that fear, he can deliver the title as well.”