Mohammad Shehab stumbles at semis hurdle

UAE national champion disappointed but pleased to be playing near his best

Image Credit: Courtesy: Dubai Snooker Club
Mohammad Shehab
Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE challenge at the 33rd ACBS Men’s Snooker Championships came to an end with Mohammad Shehab falling to Chinese teen Lv Haotian late on Thursday.

Shehab, who was runner-up to Thailand’s Kritsanut Lertsattayathorn last year, went down 3-5 against 19-year-old Haotian of China. The UAE champion kept pace with Haotian, who won the first frame 52-42, only to see Shehab bounce back with the second 67-22. Haotian took the third frame 78-9 only to see Shehab win the next two frames 60-21 and 68-14 to lead for the first time.

Stung by this, the player from China notched a high break of 71 to win 102-0 and draw level 3-3, and then won the next two frames 75-0 and 65-32 to enter his maiden final where he was to face India’s multiple world champion Pankaj Advani.

“I performed well, and things finally come down to the finer details. In the last two frames Haotian was simply too good, and when he had the chance, he just wrapped things up,” Shehab told Gulf News from Doha.

“Sure, I am disappointed as a place in the final would have been a great reward for my consistent play this week,” he added.

However, the UAE national champion kept hope that he can use this experience for the future. First up for the UAE cueist will be the ACBS Teams and 6 Red Championships to be held in Kyrgyzstan from May 13-21. The UAE will be represented by Shehab, Mohammad Al Joker and Abdul Rahman Saif in the competition.

“One of the huge positives I take from this tournament is that I performed well and I am pleased with the way my game has progressed against some of the best players in Asia. For sure, the Asian Snooker Championships is far tougher than even the World Snooker Championships,” the 40-year-old admitted.

“I think I am on the right path, and this experience in Doha will come in handy when we travel to Kyrgyzstan next month,” he added.

RESULTS

(Semi-finals) Lv Haotian (China) def. Mohammad Shehab (UAE) 5-3 (52-42, 22-67, 78-9, 21-60, 14-68, 102-0, 75-0, 65-32; Pankaj Advani (India) def. Mohammad Bilal (Pakistan) 5-0 (82-44, 67-12, 50-38, 66-8, 67-8).

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