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Wednesday, Dec 23, 2009
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Billiards & Snooker
SMOOTH SAILING: Sourav Kothari had it easy against Kamal Chawla.
Chennai: Sourav Kothari progressed to the quarterfinals of the VIP Matrix all-India invitation snooker tournament thanks to an utter capitulation by Kamal Chawla here on Tuesday.
Kamal could not string two reds together until the third frame by which time Sourav had settled into a comfortable routine. With Kamal misfiring badly, all Sourav had to do was to take advantage of the numerous chances that came his way, which he did with increasing confidence as the match wore on.
Except for an aberration in frame three where Kamal smuggled the lone red behind the pink to keep it out of reach of the cue ball and thereby drawing a sequence of fouls from Sourav, the latter was always in a position to dictate play. Sourav hit a break of 112 in the fifth frame to complete a 4-1 win.
In an exciting contest, Rafath Habib maintained a high-level of play to outgun Alok Kumar 4-2.
Rafath stormed the first two frames, breaking big and fast to run up a 114-2, 112-0 lead. Alok, however, did well to stay in the slip stream, and when the tide receded, was able to wedge himself in as he levelled the contest at 2-2.
Rafath regained control to take the next two frames with the last one going to a respot.
Qualifier Varun Kumar continued his good run in the tournament as he beat I.H. Manudev 4-1.
Rupesh Shah hit two hundred-point breaks, but it did not prove enough as he went down 4-3 to S.A. Saleem.
Pankaj Advani had to come back from the brink to defeat Manan Chandra 4-3. The reigning national champion was a frame away from elimination before turning the match around.
Aditya Mehta pulverised Sridhar 4-0, giving away a meagre 21 points in four frames to take the contest 4-0.
Rafath will square off with Sourav while Saleem will take on Aditya in the quarterfinal matches on Wednesday. Pankaj will meet Sudeep Gulathi for a spot in the semifinals.
The results (pre-quarterfinals, best of seven frames): Pankaj Advani (PSPB) bt Manan Chandra (PSPB) 4-3 (47-71, 116-0, 35-82, 54-43, 8-88, 62-24, 56-13); Sudeep Gulati (Del) bt Devendra Joshi (4-1) (63-70, 59-53, 72-8, 62-1, 65-33); Rafath Habib (Rly) bt Alok Kumar (PSPB) 4-2 (114-2, 112-0, 38-59, 47-71, 57-69, 63-70); Sourav Kothari (PSPB) bt Kamal Chawla (Rly) 4-1 (74-39, 95-8, 46-73, 63-26, 112-24); Varun Kumar (TN) bt I.H. Manudev (Kar) 4-1 (7-89, 76-27, 66-52, 62-60, 77-0); S.A. Saleem (TN) bt Rupesh Shah (PSPB) 4-3 (11-116, 59-31, 82-0, 65-24, 26-108, 62-99, 83-32); Aditya Mehta (PSPB) bt Sridhar (AP) 4-0 (82-5, 136-1, 64-6, 67-9); Geet Sethi (Guj) bt Prem Prakash (TN) 4-3 (57-48, 47-64, 77-17, 64-31, 0-125, 1-72, 101-7).
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