Muhammad Asif beats Sharjeel Mahmood in the final: Del Monte 4th Ranking Snooker Championship
The final match between Muhammad Asif and Sharjeel Mahmood for the Del Monte 4th Ranking Snooker Championship was held on Sunday November 20, 2011 at the Southend Club in Karachi.
It was a best-of-thirteen frames final which was won by Asif by a 7-2 frame score.
It was a great performance from the current Pakistan number 2, Asif, who previously had beat Pakistan’s number 1 cueist Imran Shahzad by a frame score of 6-5 in a thrilling semi-final.
The overall score-line between both players was 99-24, 83-25, 65-50, 73-29, 97-22, 42-78, 63-39, 51-77 and 107-1.
The final between Asif and Sharjeel was supposed to be a best-of-fifteen frame final but upon Geo Super’s, who was covering the final match live, requested it was cut short since the channel stated it has to cover some other events too.
Asif of Faisalabad, who at that time was the seventh seed, stormed into a 5-0 lead before the interval break as he didn’t give much to his opponent in the first five frames. Though Sharjeel, who appeared in a ranking event’s final for the first time in his
career, got an excellent chance to steal the third frame, he lost his concentration and failed to perform.
On resuming the match Sharjeel, who previously had upset former Pakistan number 1 Muhammad Sajjad by a frame score of 6-3, managed in winning the first frame to reduce the deficit at 5-1 but Asif, who was super confident, restored his five frames lead at
6-1 by winning the following seventh frame.
Eighth frame was the most dramatic one of the match. It was Asif who once again forced a chance from his opponent but this time he lost his concentration and gave his opponent a chance. Sharjeel, who was on the verge of defeat, showed great temperament and
pulled the frame with a magnificent clearance of 75 points.
It was one of the best breaks from the giant-killer from Haripur because he held his nerves when was under loads of pressure. It was the point when Sharjeel’s fans suddenly saw a hope but it was perhaps too late as Asif showed no reeling effects and reeled
off the ninth frame with a carving break of 68 to seal his win.
The presentation ceremony for the tournament, which distributed cash awards of Rs. 130,000, was held later in the afternoon and it saw the Managing Director of Anjum Asif (Pvt) Ltd, Anjum Nisar, as its chief guest.
Muhammad Asif, who also lifted the national crown in 2009, earned himself prize money of Rs. 60,000 along with the trophy whereas Sharjeel Mahmood on the same note received a runner-ups trophy along with a cash prize of Rs. 35,000.
Rest of the prize money was distributed between Imran Shahzad and Muhammad Sajjad and they were given Rs. 15,000 each for spotting a birth into the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Imran Shahzad also received Rs. 5,000 for registering the highest break of the tournament,
Muhammad Asif, along with Imran Shahzad, is now representing Pakistan in the 2011 IBSF World Snooker Championship in Bangalore, India and he has already advanced into the knockout stages there.
Let’s see if Muhammad Asif can really take Pakistan to the World Championship glory, as it will certainly boost the morale of many snooker players in Pakistan.