ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan: Pakistan’s experienced cueists Mohammad Sajjad and Mohammad Bilal got off to an impressive start when they won their round-of-32 fixtures of the 6-Red Snooker singles competitions to move into the pre-quarter-finals of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games here at the well-facilitated snooker and billiards arena on Tuesday.
Sajjad, former World No 2 and Asian champion, defeated Jordon’s Almaaitah Sharafaldean Riyad Nahar 5-4 in the best of nine-frame contest.
After winning the first frame 55-7, Sajjad failed to keep his focus, losing the second and third frames badly by margins of 2-56 and 9-75 .
However, at this stage, he regained his concentration and rather showed great potting ability to lift the fourth frame 44-21 and level the score. The Jordanian once again gave tough time to Sajjad, beating him 28-34 to take a 3-2 lead.
But all this did not deter Sajjad as he remarkably swept the next two frames 78-0 and 79-9 to make it 4-3 in his favour. The Jordanian once again bounced back when he secured an easy 60-8 win over Sajjad in the eighth frame to level the game 4-4. And now it was Sajjad’s turn who applied himself and took the ninth and decisive frame 41-1 to make a winning start to his journey.
He will now face Alan Ho Tang Hin of Hong Kong in the pre-quarter-finals on Wednesday (today).
Meanwhile, Mohammad Bilal romped to an impressive win when he humiliated Nguyen Than Ben of Vietnam 5-0 in his fixture of round of 32 to move into the pre-quarter-finals.
He prevailed over his rival with the frame scores of 30-5, 36-20, 40-5, 41-12 and 35-11.He will now face Soheil Vehedi of Iran in the pre-quarter-finals today.
Asjad Iqbal is the third cueist who is representing Pakistan in the event.“We had worked hard for around 25 days in Islamabad and we are confident to win gold,” Asjad told reporters here on Tuesday.