Ali Suria, Aleem Agha, Junaid, Shabbir Lashkarwala and Ijaz-ur-Rehman advanced at the men’s singles event of the Kashmir Solidarity Azadi Tenpin Bowling Championship 2019 at Leisure City Club, Rawalpindi on Friday night.

As per expectations, a star-studded lineup was witnessed in the singles category, as three-time national champion Ijaz, Ali, Aleem, Shabbir, Muhammad Hussain Chatha, Saleem Baig, Khawaja Ahmed Mustaqeem, Saqib Shahzad, Afzal Akhtar and other well-known international bowlers were in action. 36 top professionals played the first round, while two-time national champion Sardar Ahmer Abbas Saldera, national champion Muhammad Sajjad, leading player Fazil Maniya, former doubles and team champion Zafar Ali Khan, Ahmed Shakhani and Robbert could not participate in the event.

It was expected that the bowlers of twin cities, especially Hussain, Saleem, Saqib, Afzal and Ijaz, would make huge impact, but only Ijaz could make it to the next round. The most astonishing ousters were of Hussain, Saleem, Afzal and the most stylish bowler Khawaja, who arrived from Karachi and had vast experience of representing Pakistan national team in various international events both as player and as manager.

Each bowler was given two games at the start of the first round. It was looking like top bowlers will grab last eight spots without any major resistance, but things started to change after first five attempts. Hussain, Saleem, Khawaja, Saqib and Afzal started losing confidence and committing mistakes. The spectators were looking surprised, as they were expecting tough fight from the locals. Things became crystal clear at the middle stage of the first round, as all the big guns like Hussain, Saleem, Khawaja, Saqib and Afzal had learned their fates. They were at the bottom of the scoring cards.

National champion Ali of Karachi, who had won number of titles at home and represented the country at international stage successfully, showed top class performance by playing with cool and calm mind despite huge pressure from Shabbir, Ijaz and Aleem. He moved ahead and finished on top after the first round. He was followed in the second round by Aleem, Junaid, Shabbir, Ijaz, Ahmed, Wasim and Khanzada.

One game was awarded to each player in the second round. After the second round completion, Ali topped once again with 196 pins, Aleem, one of the most senior members of bowling family, finished second with 193 points, Junaid, a completely unknown figure as far as bowling is concerned, secured third position with 191 pins, Shabbir got fourth spot with 189 pins and Ijaz, the inventor of bowling in the country, grabbed fifth place with 188 pins. The concluding ceremony of the championship will be held tomorrow (Monday).