Dubai: Khalid Kamali, the only UAE contender left in the 2012 Dubai International Open, bowed out at the quarter-final stage after suffering a 5-1 defeat at the hands of on-song Thai Noppon Saengkham at Dubai Snooker Club on Thursday evening.
Kamali, who played some brilliant snooker during the course of the tournament to make it to the last-eight, was way off the mark. Saengkham, the 2009 world youth champion and a semi-finalist at the 2012 Asian Championship, conceded the first frame but then it was his show all the way to the end.
After levelling at 1-1, Saengkham unleashed a break of 125 — the highest of the tournament so far — and followed that with another century in the fifth to cruise to a comfortable victory.
Mohammad Shehab, the top-ranked player in the UAE, had earlier been eliminated at the conclusion of the round-robin last-16 stage on the basis of frame difference, after conceding his last group P match to Mohammad Asif of Pakistan 4-2 on Wednesday night. Three players — Shehab, Asif and Asjad Iqbal of Pakistan — ended the group P battles with two wins apiece, but Asif and Iqbal squeezed past Shehab.
There were some close battles in the other quarter-finals, with Asif edging reigning Arab champion Omar Alkojah of Syria 5-4 and Andy Lee of Hong Kong beating a spirited Iqbal by the same scoreline.
Sixteen-year-old Ratchayothin Yotharak tested the mettle of Syrian Karam Fatima before losing 5-3.