CCI Snooker: Chawla knocks out Advani to enter quarter finals
(EDS: Recasting first few paras and adding results)
Mumbai, Feb 16 (PTI) Railways Kamal Chawla pulled off a big upset victory when he knocked out ace cueist Pankaj Advani 5-2 to enter the quarter finals of the CCI Open Snooker championship here today.
Another top cueist who has also played in the pro snooker circuit in England like Advani, Aditya Mehta, was nearly toppled by veteran Yasin Merchant, a former Asian champion and ex-professional, before coming through with a 5-4 verdict in a pulsating pre quarter final.
In the Chawla-Advani clash, the former took off well by winning the first and third frames which was neutralised by the latter who won the second and fourth.
Thereafter, Chawla was the steadier of the two players and posted a 64-19, 37-80, 80-56, 12-63, 110-25, 68-55, 68-40 victory to sail into the semis.
Mehta looked in fine touch against veteran Merchant and compiled crucial breaks of 66 and 48 in the second and third frames on way to a commanding 4-0 lead before the latter got into the groove with a splendid run of 111 to win the fifth.
Merchant captured the next three frames that included a 74-1 rout in the seventh brought about by a break of 68 and then made it 4-all leading to a tense deciding ninth frame which Mehta won on the pink ball for a 72-12, 71-04, 106-20, 68-36, 00-116, 44-56, 01-74, 36-74, 63-43 verdict.
Also through to the last eight was Sourav Kothari who whipped Sumit Talwar 5-1. Earlier, Mumbai youngster Rahul Sachdev fought back superbly from 0-3 to level scores before being beaten 5-4 by Delhi cueist Sundeep Gulati in the pre quarter finals.
Sachdev, who knocked out former national champion Alok Kumar in the first round, looked down and out after dropping the first three frames, but came back in fine fashion to make it 3-all with notable breaks of 54 and 45 in the fourth and fifth frames.
Sachdev, who came through four rounds of qualifiers, dropped the seventh frame to trail 3-4, then won the eighth to draw level again but could not sustain the momentum and lost the deciding ninth frame to bow out of the tournament.
Gulati recorded a break of 52 in the opening frame on way to chalk out a hard fought win to advance to the quarter finals.
Divya Sharma of Haryana pulled off a 5-2 victory over former national 6-red champion Shahbaz Adil Khan of Bharat Petroleum by sweeping the last three frames after the two were tied 2-2.
In two other pre quarter final clashes, Maharashtras Shahbaz Khan put it across qualifier Manish Jain of Bengal 5-3 after staving off the latters determined fight-back while Manan Chandra, the 2013 national champion, stopped qualifier Ishpreet Singh Chadha of Maharashtra 5-1.
Results (Pre-quarter-finals) Divya Sharma bt Shahbaz Adil Khan 5-2 (61-39,52-62,64-20,56-45,51-43,24-92(51), 59-1; Shahbaaz Khan bt Manish Jain 5-3: 106-10, 73-42,12-69,62-57,27-68,75-23,11-65,72-16; Manan Chandra bt Ishpreet Singh Chadha 5-1 (82-1,80-19,66-54,34-64,75-42,68-64); Sundeep Gulati bt Rahul Sachdev 5-4 (89(52)-31,51-33,66-10,10-58(54),7-67(45),59-64,88-8,12-72,74- 33); Kamal Chawla bt Pankaj Advani 5-2 (64(58)-19, 37-80, 80-56, 12-63, 110(55)-25, 68-55, 68-40); Sourav Kothari bt Sumit Talwar 5-1 (18-70,79(60)-15, 92(59)-1, 70(58)-24, 66-12, 51-44); Aditya Mehta bt Yasin Merchant 5-4 (72-12, 71(66)-04, 106(48)-20, 68-36, 0-116(111), 44-56, 1-74(68), 36-74, 63-43)