DUBAI - Left-handed Finns pair of Kimmo Lehtonen/Joonas Jehkinen averaged 227.42 in squad one to lead teams from the United States, Malaysia and Korea.

Lehtonen also leads the group of players who have completed 12 of 24 games in All Events with an average of 231.67 in the doubles category, which started here at Khalifa International Bowling Centre on Monday. Lehtonen/Jehkinen averaged 227.42 for six games on the 38 feet. Atlanta pattern to take the early lead in the Men’s World Championships doubles competition.

Pakistani pair of Sultan Durani/Umar Khalid are also very much alive and occupying 11th spot out of 67 pairs and 164 players. Pakistani bowlers have great chance, as both are highly experienced and represented the country in a number of international events previously.

The lefties started with a game of 493 to take the lead and never look back. They added 480, 441, 462, 401 and 454 to set the pace with 2729 (329 over based on a 200 average). Lehtonen led the way with 1432, the highest six-game block in the doubles event so far while contributed 1297. Team USA’s Bill O’Neill and Mike Fagan closed out their set with 436, 452 and 490 to finish squad one in second place with 2667 total and an average of 222.25. O’Neill had 1,294 while Fagan scored 1,373.

Malaysians Syafiq Ridhwan/Alex Liew, top 4, slipped from second to third place despite a 474 final game trailing the Americans by just five pins with 2662 and an average of 221.83.

Korea’s Hong Haesol and Kim Kyungmin had a slow start into the event, but rebounded with games of 483, 419 and 477 to help grab fourth place with 2,584 with an average of 215.33. The top four duos at the end of the qualifying will advance to the medal round Tuesday.

Denmark’s Frederik Øhrgaard/Jimmy Mortensen, who were fifth with 2570 followed by singles silver medalist Shaker Al Hassan/Nayef Eqab Jabber of United Arab Emirates, in sixth place with 2,558.

Dan MacLelland of Canada and teammate Francois Lavoie were second after five games but slipped to seventh place after finishing with back-to-back 346 games. Gery Verbruggen had the only other 1400-plus series (1411) to finish in eight place with Jean-Marc Samain on 2,519.

With the 66 bowlers of squad one having completed 12 of 24 games in all events, Lehtonen set the tone with 2,780 total and an average of 231.67 while MacLelland was 26 pins behind in second place with 2,754 (229.50) and Verbruggen leaped into third place with 2,690 (224.17).

Bowlers of squad 2 and 3 will bowl their six games with squad 4 to follow today (Tuesday) after which the field will be cut to the top 4 who advance to the medal round. No 1 will bowl No 4 and No 2 meets No 3 in one-game semifinal match.

 The winners will bowl for gold and silver while the losers will share the bronze medal.