KARACHI - Abdul Basit of Umber Grammar School won the 5th National PTBF Ranking Tenpin Bowling Championship 2019 inter-school category after scoring 245 pins in two games played here at Arena Bowling Complex Karachi on Wednesday.

In all, 20 schools of Karachi took part in the inter-school category, which was introduced first time in the history of tenpin bowling. Total 300 boys and girls fought their hearts out to win laurels for their respective schools. The matches started at 11am, with 16 lanes and each player had two games to showcase their skills.

Majority of kids picked up the balls for bowling, nor were they aware about the rules and regulations. Ijaz Ur Rehman, who is also secretary of Pakistan Tenpin Bowling Federation (PTBF) gave tips and lecture to the young participants while Khawaja Ahmed Mustaqeem also briefed the school kids about bowling and its rules and regulations. SMF Company MD Khawaja Ahmed Fawad graced the occasion as chief guest and witnessed the matches throughout the day.

After completion of the first game, 10 schools remained in the hunt for the top honors, as organisers had allowed each school to fill five players and had the liberty of giving 10 names. Each team consists of five players and they were allowed to make changes after completion of first round of games. After tough competition, 10 players were left to play the final round.

All the top 10 places were occupied by the boys, who were exhibiting top class bowling skills. It was Abdul Basit, Saifullah, Ibtesham, who were left in the last round. Saifullah had 5 pins lead going to into final strike but he missed the chance to finish it off and had 7 points lead over nearest rival Basit, who smashed 8 pins, which enabled him to take 1-pin lead and also made him undisputed champion of the first-ever inter-school category. Basit scored 245 pins, followed by Saifullah (244 pins) and Ibtesam (223 pins).

Talking to The Nation, PTBF Secretary Ijaz Ur Rehman said: “After watching such a raw talent, I have made up my mind to conduct first-ever Inter-Pakistan schools tenpin bowling championship this year, while in March, we will start a nationwide training camp for school-going kids. Islamabad will host around 100 talented bowlers, who will be recommended by respective associations and these kids will be given free-of-cost training and coaching at Islamabad under world’s best coaches and they will be shortlisted to represent Pakistan in international junior events.”

Sharing his views, chief guest Khawaja Fawad said: “I was not expecting such willingness and hard work put in by these kids. I will provide every possible help to these kids in future and ready to help the federation in whatever capacity I can. My doors are always open for the future of Pakistan.”

The amateur category will start on late Wednesday night, while masters singles and trios will start on late Thursday night.

The arrangements made by the organisers deserve all the credit, but the Arena needs drastic steps to ensure lanes are properly maintained and in case of loadshedding, no disturbance should be witnessed, as due to electricity failures time and again in the arena, the entire arena was packed with complete darkness and the schools kids had to face trouble again and again.