12th April, Bangkok: Malaysian national bowlers dominated the opening squad of the Open division qualifying rounds at the 45th MWA-Singha Thailand International Open after the first block with Tun Hakim and Sin Li Jane in the lead.
National rookie, Azizi Naim took the early lead with a superb opening game of 257, just two pins ahead of Hakim in second. 2019 H.H. Emir Cup first runner-up, Ryan Lalisang of Jawa Timur, Indonesia and Ahmad Muaz of Malaysia also posted good games to take up third and fourth spots.
As Naim managed only 200 in his second game, 20-year-old Hakim shot 207 to take over the running and never looked back thereafter, The 2018 Women Men's Championships Doubles gold medallist went on to reel in 267, 213 and 232 to lead the squad with 1174.
Muaz posted 265, 202 and 226 in his last three games to take up second with 1137, 37 pins adrift his compatriot while 2012 AMF World Cup winner, Syafiq Ridhwan gave Malaysia a clean sweep of the top three positions with 1062.
Naim settled for fourth with 1036 and Indonesia's best finisher was Billy Muhammad Islam of Jawa Timur rounding out the top five with 1032. Meanwhile, Malaysian women were the only players in Squad A which saw the consitent, Sin Li Jane leading the opening block with 1147. Nerosha Keligit, who led in the opening game, finished second with 1067, 80 pins adrift her team-mate.
2016 World Youth Masters gold medallist, Natasha Roslan claimed third position with 999. Faten Najihah and Nora Lyana Natasia completed the top five with 963 and 945 respectively. Squad B will contest their first block at 13:30 hrs local time.
The remaining two squads, C and D will take to the lanes at 17:00 and 21:00 hrs respectively. Players will bowl three blocks of five games over three days. The top 3 local and top 3 overseas qualifiers in the combined standings will earn a bye and skip Round 2 finals.
Qualifiers positioned 7 to 26 plus 4 from Desperado squad in the Men's Open division standings and qualifiers positioned 7 to 22 plus 4 from Desperado squad in the Women's Open division standings will contest the 6 games Round 2 finals on April 15.
The top 14 men and top 12 women with the highest pinfalls in Round 2 finals will be joined by their respective division six seeded qualifiers for another 6 games in Round 3 finals. The top 6 men and top 6 women will advance to the stepladder shootout finals.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Bangkok, Thailand.