KARACHI: The inaugural South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) snooker championship that commenced at Dhaka on Monday seems to be a two-horse race between Pakistan and India as other nations lacked standard.

Both the Pakistanis — Asjad Iqbal and Mohammad Bilal — and as many Indians — Laxman Rawat and Sandeep Gulati – have stormed into the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Besides two Nepalese, a Sri Lankan and a cueist from Bangladesh have completed the last-eight round that will be played on Wednesday on best of nine frames.

Asjad chalked up a 4-2 victory over Bangladesh’s Z. A. Azad (51-53, 50-57, 68-14, 67-5, 98-25, 58-23) for second straight triumph so does Bilal who sent Lankan Ashik Hussain packing straight (82-33, 65-31, 84-6, 73-7).

Asjad is set to face Deepak Magar of Nepal while Bilal takes on M. Shrestha, also of Nepal in the two quarter-finals.

According to details available here, host Bangladesh has dedicated the event to the late Sheikh Kamal who was the eldest son of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman.

The winners gets US $2500 while the runner-up receives US$1500. The losing semi-finalists earns US$500 apiece.

Results:

Asjad Iqbal bt Z A Azad (Bangladesh) 4-2 (51-53, 50-57, 68-14, 67-5, 98-25, 58-23); Mohammad Bilal bt Ashik Hussain (Sri Lanka) 4-0 (82-33, 65-31, 84-6, 73-7).

Monday’s results:

Mohammad Bilal bt Nizam Ahmed (Bangladesh) 4-0 (101-13, 75-11, 79-0, 67-51); Asjad Iqbal bt A M Shrestha (Nepal) 4-0 (74-28, 74-22, 79-51, 82-8).

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2019