Mumbai, Aug 8 (IANS) Double Asian champion Yasin Merchant crashed out of the Shyam Shroff Memorial All India Invitation snooker tournament here Wednesday.
In the concluding Group A ties at Khar Gymkhana, 2009 champion Kamal Chawla of Madhya Pradesh beat Merchant 4-0 and later overcame India junior No.1 Laxman Rawat in a 4-3 thriller to qualify as the group topper.
Merchant's fate rested on the margin of victory in the match between Chawla and Rawat. Ironically, Chawla was ahead by a comfortable 3-0 lead that raised Merchant's hopes of making the grade.
But Rawat changed the script with a brilliant recovery to draw level and force the decider. Rawat lost the tie but the three frames he snatched were enough to see him through at the expense of Merchant whom he pipped by a solitary frame, as he finished with a five frame difference while Merchant was stranded on four.
The other qualifiers were Faisal Khan of Railways and Alok Kumar of ONGC from Group B, Manan Chandra of BPCL and Sundeep Gulati of Delhi from Group C, and Andy Lee of Hong Kong and Sourav Kothari of ONGC from Group D.
After a shock win over Asian bronze medallist Devendra Joshi, India sub junior No. 3 Ishpreet Singh Chadha upset formidable Manan Chandra of BPCL 4-3 in an exciting Group C tie though the verdict did not affect Chandra's passage into the quarterfinals.
Tamil Nadu-based Rafath Habib of Railways ended the round robin with the tournament's second highest break of 111 and added a 99 en route to a thrilling 4-3 win over Pushpinder Singh of Delhi, after trailing 1-3. The breaks came in the sixth and seventh frames, respectively.
Results: Group A: Kamal Chawla (MP) bt Yasin Merchant (Khar Gym) 99(72)-32, 79(56)-24, 68(58)-12, 57-38; Kamal Chawla (MP) bt Laxman Rawat (Delhi) 86-28, 62-53, 77-63, 20-76, 12-76, 48-70, 119(51)-14.
Group B: Shahbaaz Khan (BPCL) bt Alok Kumar (ONGC) 37-49, 23-59, 71-31, 82-1, 8-44, 54-22, 53-8; Alok Kumar (ONGC) bt Faisal Khan (Rlys) 74-34, 54-65, 81-1, 55(55)-25, 74(74)-1.
Group C: Ishpreet Singh Chadha (Khar Gym) bt Manan Chandra (BPCL) 1-79(62), 34-61, 64-58, 78-46, 39-68, 64-41, 47-32; Manan Chandra (BPCL) bt Sundeep Gulati (Delhi) 76-7, 71-50, 70-35, 79-41; Devendra Joshi (BPCL) bt Mahesh Jagdale (Elphinstone CC) 62-57, 75-7, 10-61, 71-14, 63-39.
Group D: Rafath Habib (Rlys) bt Himanshu Jain (Hyd) 85-16, 24-69, 77-45, 104-28, 11-77, 74-1; Andy Lee (Hong Kong) bt Sourav Kothari (ONGC) 71-48, 15-66, 8-68, 66-39, 67-13, 20-50, 87-65; Rafath Habib (Rlys) bt Pushpinder Singh (Delhi) 71(59)-27, 15-52, 23-71, 23-68, 91-50, 111(111)-0, 99(99)-0.
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