Cue sports maintained the medal trickle for India as the snooker team won the silver behind China in the Asian Games here on Monday.

China was expectedly formidable and proved too good, though Aditya Mehta did well to beat Liang Wenbo 51-46.

The key to the contest lay with Ding Junhui, a professional snooker player based in England, who had accounted for three gold medals in the last edition in Doha in 2006.

“We would have liked to win the gold, but our opponents were too strong,” said Yasin Merchant, after the Indian team had lost to the host 1-3 in the final.

The Indian team had earlier beaten Pakistan 3-0 in the semifinals with Aditya Mehta beating Sohail Shehzad 84-8, Yasin Merchant recording a 75-45 victory over Imran Shehzad, and then combining with Brijesh Damani to stop Imran Shehzad and Shahram Changezi in their stride at 91-61.

It was an improvement for the Indian snooker team, that had won the bronze in the last edition in 2006. Yasin Merchant and Aditya Mehta had figured in that team as well.

Pankaj Advani had opened the gold account for India with the billiards individual honour on Sunday. He will also be competing in the individual snooker event from November 18.

The result (final): China bt India 3-1 (Ding Junhui bt Yasin Merchant 70-16; Liang Wenbo lost to Aditya Mehta 46-51; Ding Junhui and Tian Pengfei bt Yasin Merchant and Aditya Mehta 68-27; Liang Wenbo bt Yasin Merchant 96-4).

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