Akaash ends an 11-year wait

Akaash ends an 11-year wait

Karnataka’s Akaash Ashok Kumar (left) and Sabeena Athica of Tamil Nadu with their trophies in Bengaluru on Saturday. DH PHOTO

Akaash Ashok Kumar emerged champion in the Uniply 29th National Tenpin Bowling Championships, putting an end to Karnataka’s 11-year wait for the title here at Amoeba on Saturday.

Up against former national champion Dhruv Sarda of Delhi in the final, Akaash dished out a clinical performance to secure his first national title with a 413-372 win. 

The last bowler from Karnataka who won the championship was Vijay Punjabi back in 2008.

Both Akaash and Dhruv began in fine fashion, but the latter’s consistency handed him the edge at the end of game 1. He was ahead by (232-199) 33 pins.

Although Dhruv made a strong start in game 2, the Delhi bowler couldn’t keep up with his Karnataka counterpart, who stayed solid and never gave his opponent a chance to make a comeback.

Akaash won by eight pins (181-173).

“The only thing missing in my career is the national title and it came today. The whole preparation was to bring Karnataka a title after 11 years. I gave it all and rest is God’s grace,” said a delighted Akaash after the match.

Akaash finished with 6608 pinfalls at the average of 206.50, while Dhruv had 6554 pinfalls at 204.81.

In the women’s section, Tamil Nadu’s Sabeena Athica clinched her 10th national title with a dominating 378-266 win over Sumathi Nallabantu of Telangana.

In the final, Sabeena led 157-128 after game 1. She was even more devastating the second, outclassing Sumathi (221-138) to wear the crown.

Earlier in the stepladder round, played based on cumulative pinfall of two games, Karnataka’s Kishan R defeated his state-mate Prathyek Satya 426-377 in the first match. The young bowler, however, could not repeat his heroics as he went down 406-438 to Dhruv in the second match.

Overnight leader and defending champion Shabbir Dhankot exited the competition early after failing to enter the step ladder round by four pins.

He finished fifth with 6475 pinfalls at an average of 202.34.