KARACHI: Defending champions India ‘A’ defeated Pakistan ‘A’ 3-1 in the final to retain their title of the 2nd Asian Team Snooker Championship at Hotel Avari Towers here on Saturday. It was sort of an upset as Pakistan are silver medallists of the International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) Team Event recently held in Egypt where they lost to Hong Kong. From their 3-1 triumph over formidable Iran in the semi-final played in morning, India were on the front foot and conceded only doubles before conquering the title. India won the duel 104-0, 95-1, 26-99, 83-43.
The victorious Indian team received winning purse of $6,750, gold medals and trophy while Pakistan were awarded runners-up purse of $4,500, silver medals and trophy. Pakistan’s Sohail Shehzad received the highest break purse of $750 and trophy.
Iran’s Amir Sakhosh who annexed the preceding 6-Reds Championship title was awarded $5,250, gold medal and trophy while silver medallist Boonyarit Kaettikun from Thailand took home $2,635, silver medal and trophy.
Pakistan, who made it to the final after getting the better of Thailand 3-1 in the other semi-final, found them at the receiving end when former world amateur snooker champion Mohammad Asif fell prey to Mohammad Faisal Khan who won the opening frame 104-0 that includes an elegant break of 70.
Coming next, Mohammad Sajjad, a former Asian No 2, also found him in hot waters against Kamal Chawla who compiled a splendid break of 91 while registering 95-1 victory to consolidate lead. Dharminder Singh Lilly teamed up with Kamal Chawla in the doubles but the two went down 26-99 to home duo reducing their victory margin to 1-2 in the best of five frame clash. Finally, Faisal made a short work of Sajjad 83-43 in the reverse singles frame completing the Pakistan’s rout.
“We’ve prepared well and are proud to have delivered the goods by retaining the team title,” a jubilant Faisal Khan told media after the triumph. “Our confidence enhanced after winning the semi-final against Iran and we successfully defended the title” Referring to Pakistan, he said: “It’s a better outfit but they couldn’t get chances when compared with us.” A jubilant Dharminder advocated reviving Indo-Pak snooker series while Kamal Chawla said the strategy that the trio had chalked out clicked.
Asif, Pakistan’s former world champion, gave full marks to India for playing a better game against the home side.
Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, managing director Jubilee Insurance Tahir Ahmed, president Asian Confederation of Billiards Sports (ACBS) Mubarak Al Khayarin, ACBS treasurer Joseph Loo and deputy consul general of Thailand Pisoot Suwanrasami were among others who graced the final.
Pakistan ‘A’ beat Thailand 3-1 (71-53, 119-12, 1-76, 62-13)
India ‘A’ beat Iran 3-1 (136-0, 76-4, 58-61, 82-42).
India ‘A’ beat Pakistan ‘A’ 3-1 (104-0, 95-1, 26-99, 83-43).