Qatar 2 team, comprising Ahmed Saif, Ali al-Obaidli and Abdul Mohsin, stayed unbeaten with Group B victories over Vietnam and Pakistan 2 on Day 1 of the Asian 6 Red Snooker Team Championship at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation Hall yesterday.
Also unbeaten after first day’s play were the Chinese team of Wu Yize and Pang Junxu in Group A, Pakistan’s Mohamed Asif and Babar Masih in Group C, Thailand’s Passakorn Suwannawat and Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon in Group D, and Iraq’s Omar Ali, Ali Hussein and Muneeb al-Juboori also in Group D.
Armed with three 50-plus breaks, two by Saif and one by al-Obaidli, Qatar 1 blanked the Vietnamese duo of Thai Van Nam and Nguyen Pham Hoai 3-0 in their first game.
However, they were run close by Pakistan 2’s Mohamed Majid Ali and Mohamed Bilal in the second.
After Saif won the first frame 90-16, Bilal gave al-Obaidli no chance running away with the frame with a 70-point break. The Pakistani duo took the lead with a 72-18 win the double frame.
Al-Obaidli restored parity with a close 55-36 frame win in the fourth, before a well-timed 75-point break in the decider by Saif sealed the host’s 3-2 victory.
Teenaged Chinese duo, 14-year-old Yize and 18-year-old Junxu, dropped two frames against the Syrian pair of Abdulkarim Maksoud and Yazan Alhadad, but won before they blanked India’s experienced pair of Manan Chandra and Pankaj Advani, who had won the inaugural IBSF-ACBS World Team Snooker Cup in Doha earlier this year, 3-0.
Earlier in the day, two 90-plus breaks by Advani powered them to a 3-0 victory over Qatar 2, comprising Mohsen Bukshaisha and Mhanaa al-Obaidli.
The Qatari duo, however, bounced back for a 3-0 victory over the Syrians in the evening.
“We lost one in the morning against India, but we bounced back with the win in the evening. Hopefully we will get the required frames to get through to the knockouts tomorrow against China,” Bukshaisha told Gulf Times yesterday.
Asked if the second victory has put them in the right frame of mind for the table-topping Chinese duo, he said, “It’s a matter of getting opportunities at the right moment, so anything can happen.”
In Group C, Masih gave Pakistan 1 a boost in the first frame against India 2’s Shahbaz Adil Khan with a 119-point break, the highest break of the day, before his more experienced teammate Asif made it 2-0 beating S Dilip Kumar. Asif-Masih combine then made it 3-0 in the doubles frame against Khan and Aayush Kumar.
Thailand played three games yesterday, dropping just one frame in the process. Palestine’s Khaled Alastal took the first frame off Suwannawat, but the Thai duo got back into the game, capping it with a 65-point break by Tirapongpaiboon in the fourth frame against Alastal for a 3-1 win.
They then blanked Iran and Jordan 3-0, with Suwannawat stitching together the day’s only other 100-plus break, a 103 in the first frame against Jordan.
The Iraqi duo were pushed to the limit by Jordan and Palestine, bouncing back from a 0-2 deficit against the former, before registering 3-2 victories over both.
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