Pahuja stuns Gandhi All India Snooker

August 5th, 2012 - 10:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 5 (IANS) Harish Pahuja stunned Abhimanyu Gandhi of Gujarat 4-3 in a Group A thriller to give the elite main draw an explosive start in the Shyam Shroff Memorial All India Open Invitation Snooker Tournament at the Khar Gymkhana Sunday.

As the big guns of the green baize arrived, joined by lone overseas cueist Andy Lee of Hong Kong, Khar Gymkhana’s Pahuja made the most of home conditions to snatch the match in the decider that ended in a dramatic black ball finish.

Underdog Pahuja kicked off his campaign by racing to a surprise 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven-frames round robin contest. But the talented Gandhi ignored the deficit to force the decider in a stunning comeback. Gandhi had a winning opportunity in the final frame but to his dismay he missed the blue.

In another upset, former national champion Sarang Shroff overcame the last edition’s runner-up Shahbaaz Khan of Bharat Petroleum 4-2 after leading 3-1 in Group B.

Another Khar Gymkhana cueist, India sub junior No. 3 Ishpreet Singh Chadha frittered away a 2-1 lead before going down 4-2 to national 6-Red champion Shivam Arora of Bihar in Group C.

Bombay Gymkhana winner Sourav Kothari of ONGC finished the day when he rallied from 1-3 to beat Tamil Nadu-based Rafath Habib of Railways 4-3 in another thriller that included a significant break of 83 in the crucial sixth frame in Group D.

Mahesh Jagdale of Elphinstone Cricket Club, Abhimanyu Gandhi, Pushpinder Singh of Delhi, Sarang Shroff of NSCI and Sandeep Gulati of Delhi were the qualifiers who made it to the elite main draw.

The round robin main draw has four groups of six players each and the top two from each group will qualify for the knock out quarter-finals.

Results: Group A: Harish Pahuja (Khar Gym) bt Abhimanyu Gandhi (Guj) 54-14, 77-38, 57-30, 21-50, 27-62, 1-72, 43-39.

Group B: Sarang Shroff (NSCI) bt Shahbaaz Khan (BPCL) 33-59, 70-22, 87-0, 62-17, 28-63, 67-44; Siddharth Parikh (Rlys) bt Deepak Khubchandani (Khar Gym) 76-49, 57-29, 31-73, 78-21, 70-61.

Group C: Shivam Arora (Bihar) bt Ishpreet Singh Chadha (Khar Gym) 79-59, 14-60, 1-68, 70-22, 58-20, 92-35.

Group D: Sourav Kothari (ONGC) bt Rafath Habib (Rlys) 43-75, 19-71, 44-6, 32-66, 64-28, 83(83)-0, 67-7.

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