x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Khalid Kamali joins UAE cueists in West Asian last 16

A cracked cue is no deterrent as the teenager shows good poise and temperament.

Khalid Kamali cracked his cue in the previous game but played on.
Khalid Kamali cracked his cue in the previous game but played on.

Khalid Kamali, the UAE teenager, showed he is a quick learner as he joined his formidablecompatriots Mohammed Joker and Mohammed Shehab in the knockout stages of the 13-nation Second West Championships at the Concorde Fujairah hotel yesterday.

Kamali cracked his cue in his earlier game when he lost 4-2 to last runner-up Ahmed Saif. Taking positives from that game, he continued with the same cue to emerge a convincing 4-1 victor over Abdulla Al Rais of Omas and qualify from group B to the last 16 stage.

Kamali said: "I am glad to have qualified. In the first match, it was a mixture of bad luck and a lack of experience playing under pressure that resulted in the loss to Ahmed Saif.

"Ahmed Saif has been around for a long time and he carries a formidable reputation so when the score went 2-2, I cracked.

"And it wasn't also that as at the beginning of the match my cue had cracked as well. It was difficult for me to cue properly and I couldn't play my game.

"I used the same cue against Al Rais but this time I was relaxed in the knowledge that nobody would blame me for not making an effort."

Kamali's effort came after Shehab, the defending champion and top seed, delivered a break of 86 to rout Mubarak Khalid of Kuwait 4-0 and finished on top of the Group A standings.

Al Joker topped the Group D standings following a 4-0 hammering of Hani Kanan of Palestine. He is yet to drop a single frame in the tournament so far.

Iran's Hossein Vafaei, the world amateur snooker champion, topped the group E, but he laboured his way to a 4-3 win over Ali Abdul Mohsen of Iraq.

The 9-ball pool final will be played today.