Hasnain faces Ahsan in all-Pakistan U-21 final at Asian snooker – Sport

RIYADH: Pakistan snoo­ker stars continued to excel at the ACBS Asian 15-Red Under-21 and 6-Red Men’s Snooker Cham­pionship as defending Under-21 champion Ahsan Ramzan and Mohammad Hasnain Akhtar won their respective semi-finals on Monday to setup an all-Pakistan final at the Riyadh Front Arena.

Meanwhile, Awaisullah Munir downed compatriot Asjad Iqbal 5-2 in the semi-final to move into the 6-red final.

Ahsan and Hasnain both are unbeaten in the tournament and they made light work of their opponents in the semi-finals.

Ahsan, the world amateur cha­m­pion in 2022, def­e­ated Tir­dad Azadipour of Iran 4-1 [108-02(51), 61-24, 55-01, 48-56, 63-07] with a 50-plus in the first frame.

Hasnain made sure that the title returns to Pakistan as he downed Hong Kong’s Shaun Liu 4-1 [64-54, 59-21, 15-61(61), 86-10, 63-35] in the other last-four clash.

Earlier in the U-21 quarter-final fixtures on Monday, Ahsan thrashed Ziyad Alqabbani of Saudi Arabia 4-1 [65-33, 52-62, 96-05(72), 68-32, 88-27], compiling a break of 72 in the process while Hasnain edged out Ranveer Duggal of India 4-3 [1-66, 60-62, 94-04(93), 44-58, 69-01, 63-07, 66-27], showing his grit and determination.

Pakistan could have had an all-Pakistan decider in the 6-red too, but it wasn’t meant to be, as both the cueists were lined-up against each other in the semi-final.

Awaisullah, the finalist at the Asian Championship in Doha earlier this year, came out on top as he kept his unbeaten run while handing Asjad, 30, his first defeat in the tournament.

The 30-year-old Awaisullah lost the first two frames but then launched a decisive comeback to beat the reigning national champion Asjad [29-59, 19-42, 42-12, 67-0, 44-09, 41-30, 70-0 (63)].

Awaisullah will now face Hong Kong’s Nansen Wan in the final on Tuesday while Ahsan and Hasnain also play their decider on the same day.

In the 6-red last-eight clashes earlier on Monday, Asjad and Awaisullah recorded convincing victories.

Asjad routed Qatar’s Mhanaa Alobaidli 5-0 [59-01, 51-05, 37-29, 46-04, 49-22], while Awaisullah beat Fung Kwok Wai of Hong Kong 5-2 [5-58, 28-26, 09-42, 44-0, 65-0(65), 58-05, 68-0(68)], with notable breaks of 65 and 68 in the fifth and seventh frame, respectively.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2024

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