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India's Siddharth Parikh causes major upset at World Billiards, stuns champion Gilchrist

Siddharth Parikh stunned Peter Gilchrist 500-483 at the IBSF World billiards (long-up) championship.

Siddarth Parikh in action at the Mumbai Billiards League earlier in the year. Image Credits: Mid-day

On the opening day of the IBSF World Billiards (long-up) Championship in Bengaluru, India’s Siddharth Parikh caused the first major upset of the tournament when he stunned multiple-time World Champion Peter Gilchrist 500-483. 

In his run up to victory, Siddharth notched up the first-century break in the competition, secured an initial lead of 147 early on and ended up winning up by 17 points. This was unlike his error prone rival Gilchrist, who did stage a strong comeback on a couple occasions when he crafted two almost complete century breaks to nullify Siddharth’s early lead. However, he botched up a cannon attempt when leading 483-445, thus allowing Siddharth to wrap up the tie with an unfinished 55-break. 

“Gilchrist was patchy, but I stuck to the basics. This is the first time I’ve ever defeated him. He is a world-class player, so this is a huge confidence boost,” Parikh was quoted as saying to Sports Star. 

Gilchrist, however, got back on track, true to his reputation with two big wins in the afternoon and evening sessions. 

On the other hand, home favourite and defending champion Pankaj Advani marked his return to the billiards arena with three back-to-back wins. In the morning, he had a cakewalk victory of 500-111 over Shankar Rao after recording a 208-break.

Next up, the Bengaluru star overcame a slow start against a possibly threatening Rupesh Shah and struck a 193 in order to clinch a 502-262 win. In the final fixture of the day, he was up against World Snooker champion Soheil Vahedi and cruised past his Iranian rival 500-66 with three big visits of 155, 126 and 130. 

“I got three positive results and some big breaks, so I'm quite happy. I feel I got into a pretty decent rhythm today,” Advani said to Sports Star. 

In other matches, India’s B Bhaskar went down 500-287 to England’s Robert Hall after the latter posted two back-to-back century breaks of 116 and 113 respectively. This was enough to keep the Indian player out of the game, despite securing an early lead with a century break for he failed to bounce back into the encounter due to his inability to post another big break. 

In the other big match, India’s national champion saw off a gutsy challenge from Myanmar’s Aung Htay to secure a 502-364 victory. Htay posted a break of 132 points and moved ahead of Kothari, but the Indian came back from behind firmly in order to register a win and avoid another upset at the tournament. 

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