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Qatar’s Jassim Al-Muraikhi triumphs in The H.H. Emir Cup 2017

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Jassim Al-Muraikhi of Qatar averaged 248 in the head-to-head finals over two games total pins to triumph in The H.H. Emir Cup 2017 Sunday at the Qatar Bowling Center in Doha.

In the title match against Francois Louw of South Africa, Al-Muraikhi took a slim two-pin lead after the first game, 258 to 256. He followed with a 247-217 win to capture the title and the $10,000 top prize, 505-473.

The picture shows the top 4 of the H.H. Emir Cup 2017. L-R Francois Louw, Jassim Al-Muraikhi, Siti Safiyah and Shayna Ng. Photo courtesy of Asian Bowling Federation.

Jassim is the first Qatari winner since Mubarak Al-Muraikhi won the event in the year 2010. Mubarak, who also won in 2007, is the lone two-time champion in the Emir Cup history.

Louw, who won the 9th Kingdom International Open in Dec. 2015 in Saudi Arabia for his first career World Bowling Tour title, had to settle for second place worth $6,000.

In the semifinals Al-Muraikhi eliminated Shayna Ng of Singapore, 477-463, while Louw ousted Siti Safiyah of Malaysia, 509-436. Ng and Safiyah, who received eight pins women’s handicap each game, earned $3,500 apiece for third and fourth place, respectively.

In his round of 16 match against two-time PBA Player of the Year Mika Koivuniemi, Al-Muraikhi rolled the only 300 game in the finals and the fourth perfecto of this year’s event only to tie the Finn after two games, 506-506. The Qatari won a one-ball roll-off to advance.

The H.H. Emir Cup 2017 drew 84 players, 69 men and 15 women, from 16 countries.

The H.H. Emir Cup 2017, the opening event of the 2017 Asian Bowling Federation (ABF) Tour season, was held from February Feb. 27 through March 5 at the Qatar Bowling Center, a 32-laner in Doha, Qatar.

Players competed for total prize money of 58,200 U.S. Dollar, $43,800 less than last year’s prize fund of $102,000. The Emir Cup paid a $10,000 first prize, $6,000 for second place and $3,500 apiece for third and fourth place.

Opposite to the previous years, the Emir Cup did not award a World Bowling Tour or Professional Bowlers Association title. However, the top 16 Asian men will be awarded Asian Bowling Federation (ABF) Tour ranking points (no extra finals to be played).

Qualifying (eight games, including the two highest four-game series; unlimited re-entries) ran over six days including 10 squads featuring four games each. Women received eight pins handicap each game.

Total 32 players advanced to the finals on Sunday, March 5, including the top 16 players with the highest 8-game totals plus the next eight foreign bowlers and the next eight local bowlers.

Those 32 were split into four groups of eight players, who bowled seven games of round robin match play. The winner of each match received 3 points while loser got zero points. Each tie was broken in a one-ball roll-off. The top 4 of each group advanced to single-elimination finals in bracket system.

In bracket play, matches consisted of two games with the highest pinfall advancing. The field was trimmed to eight, four and then two players, who bowled for the title.

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Author: Herbert Bickel
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