Indian trio to the fore
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK
DOHA INDIAN trio of Aditya Mehta, Pankaj Advani and Kamal Chawla maintained their winning run and led their respective groups at the Asian Snooker Championship. Qatar’s top player Ahmed Saif has kept up his good run, winning all his three matches in the group.
At the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation hall, both Mehta and Advani easily recorded their fourth straight victories.
In the Group A, last year’s runner- up Mehta defeated local player Bashar Hussain Abdulmajid 4-0.
In the Group A, Syrian Karam Fatima is expected to finish at the number two behind Mehta.
Fatima, the leading break holder of the championship with 140 against Qatari Abdulmajid, has already won three out of four matches and may qualify for the knock out along with Mehta.
Advani, a winner of seven world titles in billiards and snooker, also hammered Pakistani Sultan Mohammad 4-0 to top his Group C. Chinese Rouzi Maimati is currently occupying the second place with 3-1 record but three other players – Ebrahim Al Sharrah of Kuwait, Pakistan’s Sultan Mohammed and Palestine Malik MM Jadallah – have 4-2 win-loss record and may pose a big threat to the Chinese later.
Chawla contested only in three matches till now and has won all of them, losing only two frames.
Afghanistan’s Saleh Mohammed also appears a strong contender for the top spot with three victories in as many matches. Iraqi Firas Kamil Shaba is a dark horse and has a 2-1 win-loss record in the group.
The Group B is led by Syrian Omar Alkojah. He has showed good temperament and touch during his four victories so far. He has lost only three frames out of 16.
Afghanistan’s Nader Khan Sultani is at the number two spot with three victories in four matches.
The 2011 semi-finalist Mohammad Rais Senzahi faced some spirited resistance from cueists but with three victories in three matches, he has managed to stay at the top of the Group D
Hong Kong’s Fung Kwok Wai follows him with two wins in three matches.
Local hope Saif headed his group after his victories against Jordan’s Ahmad Adnan, Filipino Michael Mengorio and Bahrain’s Mohd al Shaikh. Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un Nooh and Adnan are likely to be a good bet for the second spot in the pool. Nooh is undefeated in two matches while Adnan boasts of 2-1 record.
Chinese Jin Long is having an undefeated run in the Group G after two matches. Noppon Saengkham, Lin Shu Hong and Ehsan Heydari Nezhad, all with 2-1 victory-defeat record, are also in the race for the top two places in the pool. The Group H is led by Hong Kong’s Lin Tang Ho Alan, who has clinched all his three matches.
The top two players from each of the eight groups will advance to the knock-out round of the tournament, which will come to a close on April 28.