IBSF World Team Cup: Pakistan second best to India in final

Advani, Chandra beat Asif, Masih 3-2 to silverware in Doha inaugural event


Natasha Raheel March 03, 2018
PHOTO COURTESY: PBSF

KARACHI: Pakistan's Muhammad Asif and Babar Masih were second best in the final of the inaugural IBSF World Team Cup as they lost 3-2 to India's Pankaj Advani and Manan Chandra in Doha.

Pakistani duo started with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five frames match with a 73-24, 61-56 score line, however, things began to fall apart and they lost the next two frames.

Ultimately, Asif was asked to play the deciding frame for Pakistan and he lost it 56-20.

"The final was good but we had some problems with our strategy which fell apart a little," national champion Asif told The Express Tribune. "We were in fact in control and it is a little heart-breaking to have been leading at first and then lose it.”

IBSF World Team Cup: Pakistan duo set final date with India


Asif rued the mistakes he made in the last frame. "I played the deciding frame and I feel I was a little unlucky because I couldn't execute it the way I was planning to. I lost my focus and made a few mistakes which really cost us the trophy, but over all we did our best and it just wasn't our day."

Asif and Babar were playing as Pakistan1, while Muhammad Sajjad and Asjad Iqbal were in Pakistan2.

Pakistan1 reached the final after defeating Hong Kong 3-2, which Asif believes was the toughest match.

"Our semi-final was very difficult, in fact we were losing, but then we wanted to be in the final so bad. It is always exciting to play with our neighbours, unfortunately it was just bad luck for us," said Asif.

As the runners-up, Pakistan1 received $7,000.

Watching the final as a spectator after losing the pre-quarterfinals, Sajjad said Pakistan1 was exceptionally good and overall the tournament has been a success for Pakistan as none of the opponents were easy to play against.

"Both Asif and Babar were great, but again mistakes were made, however we enjoyed the final and both teams put up such a great show," said Sajjad.

The event was featuring 24 teams in eight groups. And both teams from Pakistan topped their pools in the round robin stage.

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