Damani packs off Thakur, enters semis of national snooker

July 24th, 2011 - 8:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, July 24 (IANS) Suniti Damani caused a big upset by knocking out last year’s runner-up Meenal Thakur 3-0 en route the semifinals of the Ladies National Snooker Championship here Sunday.

Also advancing to the penultimate round were defending champion local challengers Vidya Pillai and Neena Praveen, and Maharashtra’s Aranxta Sanchis. In the semifinals, Damani, the 31-year-old from Bengal, takes on Sanchis while Pillai meets Praveen.

Damani, winner of the National 9-Ball Pool Championship this year, capitalized on the errors by Thakur who just could not get into the flow.

Meanwhile, Pillai, the 33-year old from Chennai, came back from two frames down to beat Karnataka’s Chitra Magimairaj 3-2 in a tense encounter.

The turnaround for Pillai came in the third frame when Magimairaj missed a yellow after potting the last red and the follow black. Pillai pounced on the opening for a break of 20 to take the frame.

In the fourth, Pillai crafted a run of 33 in her second visit to level at 2-2 to push the match into the deciding fifth frame that she eventually won on the last black.

Magimairaj missed the last pink when ahead and Pillai took the colour followed by the black to tie the score. Pillai subsequently took the re-spotted black after a bout of safety play to clinch the issue.

In the other two quarterfinals, Praveen was taken to five frames by young Keerath Bhandaal of Delhi while Sanchis got past billiards champion Umadevi Nagaraj (Karnataka) 3-1.

The results:

Quarterfinals: Neena Praveen (TN) bt Keerath Bhandaal (Del) 3-2 (17-55, 54-34, 56-44, 20-62, 56-26); Vidya Pillai (TN) bt Chitra Magimairaj (Kar) 3-2 (45-60, 34-44, 44-36, 54(33)-17, 42-35); Arantxa Sanchis (Mah) bt Umadevi Nagaraj (Kar) 3-1 (71(31)-51, 61-40, 20-71, 67-23); Suniti Damani (WB) bt Meenal Thakur (Mah) 3-0 (47-32, 39-27, 52-13).

Pre-quarterfinals: Chitra Magimairaj bt Asha (TN) 2-1; Uma Devi Nagaraj bt Heena Khandelwal (Mah) 2-0; Vidya Pillai bt Ashwini Puranik (MP) 2-0; Meenal Thakur bt Neeta Sangavi (Mah) 2-1; Neena Praveen bt Saniya Arif (Chd) 2-0; Keerath Bhandaal (Del) bt I Lahari (AP) 2-0; Arantxa Sanchis bt Indira Gowda (Kar) 2-0; Suniti Damani bt Varsha Sanjeev (Kar) 2-0.

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