Defending champion Dhruv Sitwala of India dashed the hopes of local challenge and experienced campaigner Alok Kumar with a 4-1 win in his opening match in the round-robin format in the 16th Asian Billiards Championship at a city hotel on Saturday. 43-year-old Sitwala, who won his first Asian title in 2015 before winning the title for the second time last year, played confidently and charted his first win of the tournament.
Sitwala made a confident start in the match as he pocketed the opening frame 100-48. Sitwala then won the second frame 100 (101)-07. Alok Kumar tried to make a comeback in the match by winning the third frame 100-17 but Sitwala dashed his hopes by winning the fourth and fifth frames with a 100 (100)-0, 100-57 margin to claim the win. In the fourth frame, Sitwala made a break of 100 to win the frame. In the second match in the same event, Rupesh Shah of India scored a 4-2 win over compatriot Siddharth Parikh. The match began on a slow note for Shah as he lost the first frame 79-101. But Shah made a comeback in the second frame, making a break of 93 to claim the second frame 100-8. Parikh made a break of 53 to win the third frame 102-31 but lost the fourth frame 17-101 to make way for Shah to claim the next two frames 102-65 and 101-03. The fourth and sixth frames saw Shah making breaks of 63 and 95 respectively to edge ahead in the match.
In the Asian U-21 Snooker Championship, Seyed Abouzarian of Iran scored his first win of the tournament as he defeated Sparsh Pherwani of India 4-0 (58-55, 98-08,71-40, 59-31). In another match in the same event, Abdulkarim Maksoud of Syria eked out a 4-1 (76-20, 22-68, 62-22, 89-27, 70-65) win over Mohammed Hussian Khan of India. Ishpreet Chadha of India started his campaign in the tournament with a loss as he faced a 1-4 (38-78), 46-71, 19-58, 69-8, 26-60 defeat against Fan Zhenyi of China.