ISLAMABAD - Pakistan title defence hopes ended with M Asif’s defeat at the of Thailand’s Kritsanut Lertsattayathorn who beat the Pakistani after a very tough contest in the ACBS 32nd Asian Snooker Championship 2016 quarterfinal played in Doha, Qatar on Thursday night.

Asif was in great form and performing very well but Thailand’s Kritsanut Lertsattayathorn proved a very tough challenger for the Pakistani and defeated him in the marathon quarterfinal. A high-level and quality snooker was witnessed during the entire encounter as both the players gave tough time to each other but at the end, Kritsanut held his nerves and outlasted Asif to win the clash of titans 5-4.

The match started on a high note as both the players played sterling snooker but Asif then utilized his skills well to take the first frame 69-46. Kritsanut then showed his class and outclassed Asif completely in the second frame, winning it 103-0, wit the break of 86. Asif then bounced back in style and won the third frame 76-46 by playing a break of 70.

Kritsanut was in no mood to let Asif dictate his terms so he recharged his energies and won the fourth frame 66-40 and the fifth one in a splendid manner winning it 116-0. It was alarming situation of former champ Asif, who staged a remarkable comeback and clinched the sixth frame 72-38 and sixth quite convincingly 82-12. It was all that Asif could get from this match as after that, Kritsanut showed his best game and completely outlived Asif 80-1 in the eight frame and 81-0 in the ninth while playing the superb break of 81.

Earlier, M Asif defeated Iranian Sohail Vahedi 4-1 in the pre-quarterfinals to make his way to the quarterfinal of the event while all the other Pakistanis bowed out in the event, as M Sohail lost pre-quarterfinal against Thailand’s Kritsanut Lertsattayathorn 1-4, while M Sajjad and Sohail Shehzad were also thrown out of the event.

Talking to The Nation, team manager Naveed Kapadia said: “We were hoping Asif to excel and defend the title but unfortunately, he couldn’t do so and crashed out of the tournament. There is a dire need to provide our players maximum international exposure and help them appear in maximum international tournaments as it is the only way to prepare them for mega events and earn laurels for the country.”

“It is my humble request to government as well as corporate sector to come forward and help the Pakistani cueists who are more than capable of winning medals for the country. The dire need of the hour is to provide proper patronage to them so that they may pay full attention to their games instead of worrying about earning bread and butter for their families,” he concluded.