Saif Al Kitbi of Abu Dhabi continued his campaign for a place in the national team as he upset former Egypt No. 1 Mohammed Samy El Khayat 4-3 in their last 32 round clash in the Rosy Blue UAE Snooker Ranking Circuit's third event at the Dubai Snooker Club on Friday night.
It was a highly impressive performance by Al Kitbi, who had to recover from the brink of defeat to edge El Khayat on the last black in the deciding frame.
Al Kitbi, who is hoping to join the national team by finishing among the top 8 in the UAE rankings at the end of the on-going event, and El Khayat were tied 2-2, before the Egyptian took the fifth frame to push his rival to brink.
Al Kitbi put on splendid show by potting the crucial balls in the with frame to gain a 3-3 tie.
It was Al Kitbi who started on a positive note in the decider and he had a couple of chances to warp up the match but El Khayat kept coming back and inched ahead towards the end of the frame. It all boiled down to the last black and Al Kitbi kept his cool at the vital juncture to move into the last 16 stage of the event.
Al Kitbi's opponent in the last 16 round will be another Egyptian giant from yesteryears Hany Hosny, who was a 4-1 winner over Mohammed Hani.
Ahmed Shehab, a quarter-finalist at the second racking event, suffered a shock defeat at the hands of former Bangladesh No. 1 Salman Haroon. Shehab lost the match 4-1.
UAE veteran Eissa Ali Sayed was in an impressive form as he scored two breaks of 50-plus to rout Adil Mohammed 4-1 and move into the last 16 round, where he takes on Haroon on Tuesday night.
The last 32 round battles were to continue on Saturday and night's at the same venue.