KARACHI -  Major upsets continued unabated in the First Abdul Sattar Edhi All-Pakistan Tenpin Bowling Championship 2017 4-member team event as former national champion Shabbir Laskarwala, Ahmed Shekhani, Robert and Faraj Ahmed flopped miserably and failed to qualify for the last 6 final round here at Arena Karsaz Saturday.

Chairman Khawaja Group of Industries Khawaja Munir Ahmed was the chief guest on the occasion while Virtual Axis Pakistan CEO Khawaja Ahmed Mustaqeem, Khawaja Group of Industries Director Khawaja Fawad Ahmed, OGDCL Sports Board Vice President Ch Ajmal Sabir along with other dignitaries and sports journalists were also present.

A total of 17 teams participated in this category including all the top bowlers of the country with the only exception of Islamabad-based bowlers. Only Saqib Shahzad turned up from Islamabad to take part in the championship, which attracted more than 400 bowlers in total, including 125 ladies as well, which is a new national record as never in the past such participation was witnessed in total and only ladies in such numbers is a huge achievement by the organisers.

While sharing his views with The Nation Saqib said he had participated in number of national and international events both as player and other capacities as well but he must give entire credit to Khawaja Mustaqeem for organising such a wonderful and highly keenly-participated event. “I had never witnessed such rousing and highly energetic crowd. The entire arena was buzzing with noise and even though majority of players had lost in the very first round but they kept on sitting and buck up others. I am also highly disappointed that there is no representation from Islamabad. It is in fact loss of bowling community and they should have avail that opportunity because whenever Virtaul Axis conduct an event, it is bound to be a huge success.”

He it was high time the PTBF should have joined hands with people like Khawaja Mustaqeem, who are devoted bowling lovers and spending huge amount of money on conducting events and sponsoring players not only at national but also at international level, which was rarely witnessed in the past. “I through the media request PTBF Secretary Ijaz Ur Rehman, who is a true sportsman and a die-hard promoter of tenpin bowling in Pakistan to take people like Khawaja and Sardar Abbas Saldera onboard to ensure safe future of bowlers, as this game is fast gaining popularity in Pakistan, we need such passionate persons, Saqib concluded.

After best of three first round, 12 teams were left for the second round and after 3-game second round six teams qualified for the finals, which will be played on early Sunday morning. It was huge surprise witnessed in the team event as well as Pakistan’s lone international female bowler Janet Sheikh along with her team members M Sajid, Shaikh Nasir and Atiq Ur Rehman grabbed top position after scoring 171, 223, 180 and 148 pins with total of 722 and an average of 180.50. They were followed in the second by another surprise package Khawaja Mustaqeem, Danyal Shah, Haroon Anwar and Abdul Hye with 155, 170, 214 and 178 with total of 717 pins at an average of 179.25.

Aqeel Iqbal, Usman Ghani, KS Romio and Hanif grabbed third place with 172, 234, 153 and 135 with total 694 pins at an average of 173.50. Arshad, Ali Surya, Syed M Hussain and Faizan grabbed 4th place with 171, 202, 180 and 118 with total of 671 pins at an average of 167.75. 5th position was occupied by Faheem, Sumair, Naseem and Anas with 196, 155, 165 and 155 with total of 671 pins at an average of 167.75 and 6th and last spot on offer was grabbed by Pakistan’s top bowler, who closely escaped another huge upset, Ahmer Abbas Saldera, Jawad Usman, Tariq Parvaiz and Asif Alvi 183, 197, 133 and 132 with total of 645 pins at an average of 161.25.