KARACHI: Teenager Hamza Akbar became the youngest-ever cueist to win the Jubilee Insurance 38th National Snooker Championship when he overpowered veteran cueist Imran Shehzad 8-7 in a marathon final at Karachi Gymkhana Billiards Hall on Monday.
It was a grand victory for the 19-year-old from Faisalabad as he won the prestigious national title on his debut.
Highly talented Akbar was trailing 2-4 at one stage. But in a dramatic turnaround he changed his fortunes with a brilliant cue control by forging 6-4 ahead.
The match was locked at 6-6 and then after being 6-7 down, Shehzad made it 7-all by constructing a superb break of 88 in the 14th frame.
Hamza Akbar, playing under intense pressure, conceded an early lead to Imran in the deciding frame. However, he quickly regained his composure and potting smartly and tactically, made a clearance of 53 to seize the final frames 89-43 to raise his fist in excitement to earn handsome applause from the jam-packed hall.
Imran Shehzad from Lahore, who was playing his second national final, made a fine start and maintained upper hand in the first half of the match.
Hamza Akbar attributed his success in the national championship to his coach Bilal Mughal and former national champion Shahid Aftab, who trained and guided him well.
The sponsors presented a glittering trophy to Akbar with cash prize of Rs 80,000 while Imran Shehzad collected the runner-up trophy with Rs 50,000 cash reward.
Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Federation (PBSF) President Alamgir Shaikh, SVP Wahid Qadir, VP Jawed Karim, President KG Homi Khambatta, Sports Convener Javed Mir and other officials were also present on the occasion.
Akbar beat Shehzad by 79-45, 36-70, 58-61, 76-01, 06-85, 23-89, 56-06, 64-22, 54-46, 80-06, 24-78, 24-73, 63-58, 0-115 and 89-43.