World U-21 Snooker Championship: Four Indians enter knockout stage
Al Fujairah, May 15 (IANS): All four Indian entries in the boys’ section – Ashutosh Phady, Sahil Nayyar, Ishpreet Singh Chadha and Dhvaj Haria – have qualified for the knock-out stage of the IBSF World Under-21 snooker championship here Thursday.
While Chadha and Haria topped their respective groups winning all their four matches, Nayyar won a crucial match against Brazil’s Gabriel De Lima 4-0 to finish third in his group with two wins and two defeats, and Phady overcame Ireland’s Daniel Dempsey 4-3 for his third win in four matches.
Phady’s only defeat in the league was against the 2011 IBSF World champion Hossein Vafaei Ayouri, the 19-year-old from Iran, who won the match 4-1.
Chadha was the most impressive qualifier among the Indians since he won his matches without dropping a frame as he completed his league engagements with a 4-0 drubbing of UAE’s Bader Obaid Almehairi.
Haria dropped the only frame in league when he beat 17-year-old German Lukas Kleckers 4-1 to top his group.
The top three finishers in each of the 16 groups qualify for the knock-out stage that will commence Thursday evening.
In the women’s section, Varsha Sanjeev went down 2-3 to Russia’s Daria Sirotina to suffer her third defeat in the five-player Group B and thus made her exit.
The 17-year-old Sanjeev, who had beaten Armaghan Hassani (Iran) 3-1, needed to win 3-0 against Sirotina to qualify for the Top 6 knockout stage, but the Russian proved too strong.
Earlier, the other Indian entry Saniya Arif bowed out with three defeats in the four-player Group A from where Keerath Bhandaal, who won one and lost two matches, qualified for the knock-out phase.