Rupesh Shah wins PSPB open billiards title

ONGC’s Rupesh Shah capped a fine day of displaying his diverse talent in cue sport by winning the billiards title without being stretched.

Rupesh Shah defeated Indian Oil’s Dhvaj Haria in the final.   -  Special Arrangement

ONGC’s Rupesh Shah capped a fine day of displaying his diverse talent in cue sport by winning the billiards title without being stretched in the BPCL 14th PSPB Inter-Unit Billiards and Snooker tournament at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana on Friday.

After knocking out the defending champion Sourav Kothari in the individual snooker quarterfinals, the Ahmedabad-based Shah turned out to be sharper and precise than his younger opponent, Indian Oil’s Dhvaj Haria in the final played over points and set to five games.

Haria seemed to be in control of the third game leading 92-68, but Shah given an opening, compiled an unfinished  break of 33 and closed the match in a little over two hours with an in-off. It was Shah’s second PSPB billiards title win. 

In the absence of team-mate Pankaj Advani and BPCL’s Manan Chandra the brilliards competition got somewhat depleted; both returned home to prepare for a day or two for the IBSF-ACBS World Team Championship in Doha. IOC’s Aditya Mehta did not enter the open events, mainly snooker, as he was scheduled to return to UK to take part in the professional snooker circuit.

Shah and Haria, both from Gujarat set up the billiards final with victories over IOC’s Brijesh Damani and BPCL’s S. Shrikrishna. Shah in between staged a remarkable recovery from 0-2 down to score a fine win against ONGC-teammate Kothari in the coloured-ball competition. Shah will now play Damani in the semifinals and Shrikrishna, who also registered a 3-2 win against GAIL’s Ishpreet Singh Chadha, will take on IOC’s Sparsh Pherwani in the second semifinal.

Results: Billiards Open (Set to 100 points, five games) final: Rupesh Shah (ONGC) bt Dhvaj Haria (IOC) 3-0 (100-45, 100 (76)-67, 101- 92; Semi-final: Rupesh Shah bt Brijesh Damani (IOC) 3-0 (100 (92)-10, 100-16, 100-34; 3rd and 4th place: Brijesh Damani bt S. Shrikrishna (BPCL) 3-0(100-18, 100-27, 100-33)

Snooker Open: Quarterfinals: Brijesh Damani bt Laxman Rawat (IOC) 3-0( 65-28, 58-11, 97(85)-27; S.Shrikrishna bt Ishpreet Singh Chadha (GAIL) 3-2(46-63, 55-72, 76-13, 108(56,50)-16, 63-37); Sparsh Pherwani (IOC) bt Shahbaz Khan (BPCL) 3-2(20-56, 32-74,78-57, 72-44, 82-9);  Rupesh Shah bt Sourav Kothari (ONGC) 3-2 (50-73,72-28,64-31,46-63,61-52).

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