Rupesh edges out Alok to clinch Asian crown

Reigning world champion Rupesh Shah added another feather in his cap by clinching the 12th Asian billiards championship with win over compatriot Alok Kumar in  a fiercely fought final on Sunday.

After winning the lag, Alok asked Rupesh to start with white and after a few nervous moments, Rupesh registered first game win in best of 11 final match.

Alok recovered from that in the second game and leveled the match 1-1 but Rupesh rebounded by producing a 67-point break and advanced 2-1.

After that, a composed Alok produced an unfinished century break and won the next game too to step ahead. Sniffing danger, Rupesh upped the ante and produced three breaks of 101, 95 and 100 to leave Alok behind.

Alok succeeded in pocketing the ninth game by producing a break off 76 points but he faltered in the last game as Rupesh capitalized and sealed the match.

This is India’s 10th Asian Billiards title and Rupesh is new entrant in this elite club. He follows previous champions Geet Sethi, Ashok Shandilya, Devendra Joshi, Pankaj Advani and Alok Kumar.

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