Alok Kumar wins Asian Billiards title



Alok Kumar wins Asian Billiards title New Delhi: National champion Alok Kumar on Thursday became the first cueist to achieve the rare feat of winning both the Billiards and Snooker Asian titles when he blanked Praput Chaithanasukan of Thailand 6-0 to win the Asian Billiards championship at the Olympic Stadium of Kish Island.

Earlier, back in 2004 in Jordan, Alok had lifted the Asian Snooker title by defeating his compatriot former World Professional Billiards champion Pankaj Advani in the finals.

In the best of 11 games 100 points format summit clash, Alok, from the beginning, showed a great deal of grit and determination and his first visit to the table compiled an immaculate break of 93 to go ahead 1-0.

Alok was fast and furious in the following two frames too as he completely rattled his opponent with breaks of 84 and 85 in the second and third games, respectively to go ahead 3-0 in just 25 minutes of play.

It was amazing to see the man, who had won the 8-ball and 9-ball National Pool title only a week back, adjusting so well to a completely different game that requires touch play.

Inarguably, the best all-round player of the country, Alok once again showed his versatility in the fourth game as he prevailed over his opponent with tactical play.

The fifth frame saw Alok unfolding a vast repertoire of stroke play to recover from most difficult situation and completely outwitted Praput by compiling yet another good run of 73 points to go ahead 5-0.

In the sixth, though Praput raised some sign of recovery by scoring 57 points, it was too little as Alok gave the icing on the cake with a clinically precise 'postman's knock' break of 76, played at the top of the table to win 6-0.

During the course of the tournament, Alok fought hard to brush aside challenges of two former World Champions Pankaj Advani (India) and Peter Gilchrist (Singapore) in the quarters and semifinal to reach the final of the coveted championship.

Score Line: Alok Kumar beat Praput Chaithanasukan: 6-0 (101(93)-02; 101(84)-02; 100(85)-06; 100(40)-72; 101(73)-18; 101(76)-57.

PTI