By Sports Reporter /Doha
An in-form Babar Masih led Pakistan 1 to a thrilling Asian Team Snooker Championship victory in the final against India 1, comprising Pankaj Advani and Malkeet Singh, at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation Hall yesterday.
Pakistan 1 — Masih and Mohamed Asif — had earlier halted the unbeaten run of the Chinese teenaged duo — Wu Yize and Pang Junxu — in the semi-finals, with a 3-1 win.
In the final, 32-year-old Masih, powered by an 81-point break in the opening frame against Advani, gave his team a 1-0 lead. Singh, with a 51-point break restored parity, taking the frame from Asif 81-47.
In a thriller of a doubles frame, the Indians gave away a healthy lead as Asif-Masih eked out a 72-70 win for a 2-1 lead.
However, Advani found the right time to power back into the game with a 68-point break. A 107-5 win over Asif sent the game into the decider, and up to Masih and Singh.
Singh had taken a slight 17-8 lead when he missed the four-ball. A bit later in the frame, when Singh missed the brown again, Masih got going for a 43-point break taking a 63-18 lead.
A few trades later, Masih was at it again, this time ending the game with authority with black in the pocket, a smile on his face, a clenched fist and a celebratory yell.
The game was the second India vs Pakistan encounter of the day with Advani-Singh going past Pakistan 2’s Mohamed Majid Ali and Mohamed Bilal 3-2 in the semi-final that lasted well into the evening yesterday.
India 1 comprised Manan Chandra, besides Advani and Singh, with the latter two playing yesterday’s games.
Chandra-Advani combine had won the inaugural IBSF-ACBS World Team Snooker Cup, beating the Asif-Masih team in March this year.
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