Pakistan's IBSF title hopes crash as Sajjad falls at penultimate
The last surviving Pakistani player in the IBSF World Championship, Mohammad Sajjad, fell at the penultimate hurdle, when he lost to Chinese Zhao Xintong in the semi-finals 5-7.
Sajjad, who had stormed into the semi-final on the back of some impressive victories, started poorly against Xintong in Latvia when he lost the first frame 39-74.
The 27 year-old made a strong comeback by sweeping the second frame 115-0. But he fell to Xintong in the third frame 8-84.
Sajjad though rallied to win the fourth and fifth frames 84-19, 70-5 respectively to race into 3-2 lead.
Xintong though came back in the match and swept the sixth frame 0-103. This did not get Sajjad down and he won two successive frames 85-0, 68-24 to get into a commanding 5-3 lead.
From then on, Sajjad could not keep a hold on the game and progressively saw himself being beaten by 16 year old Xintong in four successive frames where he only once posted credible challenge to the Chinese. Sajjad lost the last four frames 12-59, 61-75, 18-57, and 13-79.
Xintong will now face either Welsh Lee Walker, 37, or compatriot Zhou Yuelong, 15, in the final for the Amateur world title.
Earlier, Sajjad stormed into the semi-final of IBSF World Championship by thrashing Scotland’s Michael Collumb 6-0 in the quarter-final.
Sajjad quickly got into the groove and dominated the proceedings. He went on to score a century break which helped him register a win with frame scores of 69-20, 69-37(63), 54-41, 105-22(105), 64-63 and 65-08.
Pakistan’s other three cueists Asif, Imran Shehzad and Shahid Aftab had already been knocked out.
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