KARACHI - ANISUDDIN KHAN - M Sajjad and M Asif made Pakistan proud when they reached the semi finals of the Jubilee Insurance Seven- nation Snooker Championship scoring heart warming wins over their stronger opponents here on Wednesday .

Unseeded M Asif performed a giant killing feat when he defeated third seed and former Asian champion Yasin Merchant of India  in a gruelling eight-frame quarter final to earn a berth in the pre finals of the championship. M Asif took the contest against hope winning 61-47, 0-188, (53), 98-20, (82), 33-65, 70-57, 25-74, (70), 64-07, 74-09.

No one was giving any chance to the Pakistan against a celebrated and most experienced Indian but Asif kept his cool and without being awed by the reputation of his opponent remained focused as the thrilling contest progressed in front of a select gathering of his supporters.

Asif was at his best under pressure and when he won the 8th frame 74-09, to seal victory his fans welcomed his win with applause. Yasin Merchant went to Asif to shake the hand of his conqueror for his deserving victory. M Sajjad who was tipped as dark horse of the championship covered himself with glory when he overpowered Egyptian Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed by five frames to three 5-3 (01-97,(97), 74-34, 54-50, 01-78,(78), 57-70, 107-25,(107), 59-34, 83-28, (69)

The home organisers are pinning hope on Sajjad who will face the toughest challenge in the semi final when he faces Vafaei today (Thursday).

The Iranian who is current amateur world championship is in killing form and has won all matches without being extended. However facing a determined Pakistani opponent in the pre-finals may shake his confidence .However much would depend how Sajjad would cope up with the pressure which will be high.

The Iranian will face a stiff test against the Pakistani who will be playing in front of home supporters who would wish that their local hero upset the world champion. In the second semi final M Asif will face second seed Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (Thailand) who accounted for his country mate Noppon Saengkham (Thailand) in the quarter final which went the full nine frame distance.

He won 70-64, (60), 00-82,(60), 25-56, 08-91,(66), 80-50, (71), 104-00,(104), 98-09, (66), 55-70, 65-06)

Earlier Hossein Vafaei thrashed Pakistani Abdul Sattar in straight five frames to nil.

The Irnian once again was in fine form and raced to 92-00,(64), 92-12, 72-30, 69-63, 56-30 victory

Results. All quarter finals.

Hossein Vafaei Ayouri (Iran) beat Abdul Sattar (Pakistan) 5-0 (92-00, (64), 92-12, 72-30, 69-63, 56-30 

M Asif (Pakistan) bt Yasin Merchant (India) 5-3 (61-47, 0-188, (53), 98-20, (82), 33-65, 70-57, 25-74, (70), 64-07, 74-09 ).

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (Thailand) bt Noppon Saengkham (Thailand) 5-4 (70-64, (60), 00-82, (60), 25-56, 08-91, (66), 80-50, (71), 104-00, (104), 98-09, (66), 55-70, 65-06).

M Sajjad (Pakistan) bt Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed (Egypt) 5-3 (01-97, (97), 74-34, 54-50, 01-78, (78), 57-70, 107-25, (107), 59-34, 83-28, (69))

Semi finals. Thursday

Hossein Vafaei Ayouri ( Iran) vs M Sajjad Pakistan).

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (Thailand) vs M Asif (Pakistan).