Defending champion M.F.M. Fahim of Moors SC was in ominous form ahead of the last 16 round of the 67th National Snooker Championships for the U.W. Sumathipala Memorial Trophy sponsored by Sumathi Group of Companies, when he topped group A with a decisive 4-2 win over Army’s M.S. Fernando in his final round robin match at the AAC (Automobile Association of Ceylon) tables yesterday.
Fahim reeled off a break of 63 to win the opening frame 75-0 but Fernando, the runner-up in group A, fought back pulling back two frames before conceding victory in the sixth.
M.J.A. Thasleem of AAC won a seven-frame thriller against 27-year-old M. Abzal of Port of Pool (PoP) to top group C. Thasleem won the first three frames but Abzal, who qualifies as runner-up from group C, regained his composure to win the next three frames on the trot. Thasleem, a former Sri Lanka player, who is making a comeback to the sport after a decade, sealed the match 66-25 as Abzal conceded defeat with the colours still remaining.
H.A.M. Ramzan (MSC) and M.M. Mubeen (Army) also topped their group with decisive victory in their final round robin matches.
The last 16 round will commence on Wednesday at the AAC tables.
Group A: M.F.M. Fahim (MSC) bt M.S. Fernando (Army) 4-2 (75-00, 24/52, 49/28, 55/50, 19/62, 66/25); Group B: M. Farhan (Galle) bt Losaka Perera (SSC) 4-0 (69/35, 57/22, 60-36, 72/45); Group C: M.J.A. Thasleem (AAC) bt W.P. Pushpakumara (ICSC) 4-2 (64/36, 44/56, 70/29, 53/38, 60/66, 52/26), M. Abzal (PoP) bt W.P. Pushpakumara (ICSC) 4-2 (27/62, 64/13, 61/35, 77/59, 42/56, 62/20), M.J.A. Thasleem (AAC) bt M. Abzal (PoP) 4-3 (58/26, 42/30, 60/19, 33/66, 20/61, 22/57, 60/19); Group D: M.I. Farook (MICH) bt D.L.T. Ramesh (PSC) walk over, H.A.M. Ramzan (MSC) bt M.I. Farook (MICH) 4-3 (25/55, 63/29, 34/52, 36/50, 51/17, 54/25, 45/28); Group E: Ihsan Ali (T/Cue) bt Rohitha de Silva (BRC) 4-1 (67/25, 57/20, 67/34, 26/59, 58/34); Group F: M.M. Mubeen (Army) bt Susantha Wickrama (Army) 4-1 (63/35, 64/21, 24/57, 77/62, 74/57); Group G: Riyaz Noor (MSC) bt Hazan Nimeshka (YMBA) 4-2 (46/32, 55/57, 44/55, 45/37, 17/54, 26/56)