April 7, 2013

Noppon Saengkham shatters Majid Ali’s dreams in final


By Syed Khalid Mahmood 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Mohammad Majid Ali’s dreams of bringing home the Asian Junior crown were shattered by Noppon Saengkham of Thailand in a thrilling final of the 14th Asian Under-21 Snooker Championship 2013 in the Indian town of Indore on April 7.


Majid Ali had become Pakistan’s hope of annexing the title for the first time after the country’s premier cueist and the reigning national champion, Hamza Akbar, had been eliminated in the pre-quarter-finals a couple of days earlier. 

Both the teenagers from Faisalabad gave very impressive account of themselves to make their presence felt in a big way among the galaxy of top young cueists of the continent. They performed superbly and displayed enormous fighting qualities. Their never-say-die approach was the biggest positive to have come out of the one-week event. 

The Asian Junior title would have further lifted the Pakistan snooker which is already on a high following the triumph of Mohammad Asif in the World Championship late last year. There will be another chance for the duo of Majid Ali and Hamza Akbar alongwith Mohammad Asif to have a crack at the Asian Snooker Championship due to be staged in Karachi in a few weeks time. 

Incredibly all three of them belong to Faisalabad, a city famous for its industries, now making headlines for producing snooker champion material. 


Majid Ali fought very hard in the final of the Asian Junior Championship but Saengkham had the last laugh winning the tensely-fought encounter 6-5 with the scores being 62-63, 12-92), 91-1, 76-63, 24-73, 64-48, 37-85, 74-8, 112-15, 24-72, 63-46. 

The first blood was drawn by Majid Ali, who also doubled his lead by chalking up of a break of 66 in the second frame. Saengkham, however, caught up with breaks of 58 and 54 in the next two frames to make it 2-2. Majid Ali made it 3-2 by winning the fifth frame but Saengkham did’t take long to draw level again. 

The Pakistani youngster put his nose in front once more by taking the seventh frame and his rival fought back to snatch the eighth frame. It was Saengkham’s chance to move forward when he compiled a break of 66 in the ninth frame. This time Majid Ali drew level by clinching the tenth frame. The decisive eleventh frame went to the wire with the cueist from Thailand emerging triumphant in the closest of duels.

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