KARACHI: Pakistan’s Muhammad Asif was on song on the opening day of the Asian Championship campaign with two victories in the 6-red Snooker Championship at the Avari Towers on Sunday.
Former International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) world champion Asif defeated Qatar’s Mahanna Naseer Obaidi 5-2 in the morning session, and went on to outclass India’s Katen Chawla 5-0 in his second match.
Pakistan’s Muhammad Sajjad defeated Rahul Ajay Sachdev 5-3, while Shahid Aftab also registered a win against Qatar’s Ali Naseer Obaidi 5-3.
Hamza Akber, the emerging cueist in the 11-member Pakistan squad, defeated Syria’s Karam Fatima 5-0, whereas Asjad Iqbal outplayed Hong Kong’s Chan Chee Keong 5-2.
Sohail Shehzad won against Syria’s Omar Al Kojah 5-3, but Muhammad Asif Toba lost to Iran’s Amir Sarkhosh 5-1.
Meanwhile, Indian captain Kamal Chawla registered two wins in the 6-reds event. He defeated Singapore’s Lim Chun Kiat 5-2 and Hong Kong’s Lin Tang Ho Alan 5-3.
The Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association is hosting the mega-event featuring 11 teams from countries including Qatar, India, Singapore, Syria, Hong Kong, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Thailand, Iran and Palestine.
The opening day saw 36 matches of the 6-reds event, while the team championship will begin on August 20.
In other matches, Singapore’s Ang Boon Chin defeated Afghanistan’s Muhammad Raees Senzai 5-2, Hong Kong’s Au Chi Wai overcame Thailand’s Kritsanut Lertsattayathorn 5-4, Thailand’s Boonyarit Kaettikun deeated Iran’s Saeed Abooyesani 5-1 .
It’s a joy to play in Pakistan: Kamal
India’s top player and captain Kamal said that it is a positive sign for the Indian and Pakistan cueists to be play ing together.
He said that despite the security concerns, the six-member Indian squad is enjoying the tournament.
“The tournament is pretty good, especially the organisation,” Kamal told The Express Tribune. “It is the first time that I’m competing in Pakistan, but the level of competition is stiff as the 6-red format is dicey. You never know when the games changes and cueists have to concentrate till the last shot, unlike the lengthier form of the game.
“As far as Indian and Pakistani cueists are concerned we are rivals on the table, but we always root for each other from the sidelines.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2014.
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