Sandeep Gulati and Aditya Mehta survive Q/F scare

Sandeep Gulati and Aditya Mehta drew on their talent to quell the challenge in the quarterfinal contests of the National Snooker Championship.

Sandeep Gulati in action   -  Special Arrangement

Sandeep Gulati and Aditya Mehta drew on their talent to quell the challenge in the quarterfinal contests of the National Snooker Championship here on Saturday. Both were tested amidst tense situations before emerging unscathed to make it to the next stage. In the women’s section, all the quarterfinals were decided without much fuss.

Gulati’s encounter with Delhi mate Anuj Uppal went beyond four hours while tournament-favourite Aditya Mehta came close to being eliminated by a spirited Dilip Kumar. During his progress in the tournament thus far, Dilip had maintained a low profile, perhaps keeping his best against the favourite.

Mehta had stormed into the knockout stage and before his clash with Dilip, had won 18 frames in a row. A clearance of 86 saw Mehta pocket the first frame but complacency cost him the next one. Dilip exerted pressure with a break of 110 to lead the match 3-2. A snooker set up by Mehta in the next frame led to a hold up in the game when Dilip, conceding a foul on the brown, did not accept the positioning of the balls by the referee. Eventually he relented but the loss of concentration cost him the frame and the match too. Dilip was never the same thereafter.

Manan Chandra was an impressive winner against Bharath Sisodia, who had felled several key players, including the noted Alok Kumar, on his way to the quarterfinals. Chandra played freely with break-neck speed but at the same time played percentage snooker to upset the rhythm of his opponent.

The other quarterfinal between Lucky Vatnanai and Ishpreet Chadha was pushed into the background only because of the Mehta-Dilip battle. Ishpreet was off to a 3-0 lead before Vatnani struck form and cut down the deficit to 1-3. With breaks of 87 and 86, he managed to level 4-4 but Ishpreet kept his cool in the decider and stayed on course.

The results:

Men snooker (quarterfinals): Aditya Mehta bt Dilip Kumar 5-3 (94-16, 14-62, 84-1, 7-61, 18-110, 106-0, 62-47, 67-27; Ishpreet Chadha bt Lucky Vatani 5-4 (70-0, 58-51, 63-27, 7-122, 75-0, 0-91, 0-86, 21-82, 57-21); Manan Chandra bt Bharath Sisodia 5-2 (69-0, 79-36, 11-82, 107-30, 60-21, 18-100, 8-28); Sandeep Gulati bt Anuj Uppal 5-4 (82-52, 50-77, 71-30, 25-62, 74-25, 67-23, 40-73, 15-83, 63-13).

Women snooker (quarterfinals): Aranxta Sanchez bt M. Chitra 3-0 (55-22, 65-62, 53-39); Vidya Pillai bt Keerat Bhandaal 3-0 (46-33, 80-15, 65-18); Varsha Sanjeev bt Indira Gowda 3-0 (55-10, 67-31, 66-36); Amee Kamani bt Neeta Sanghvi 3-0 (88-2, 64-30, 60-38).

Senior women billiards (semifinals): Aranxta Sanchez bt Neena Praveen 2-1 (71-75, 76-47, 76-32); Keerat Bhandaal bt R. Uma Devi 2-1 (75-67, 70-76, 75-42); For third place : Uma Devi bt Neena 2-0 (50-17, 5-37).

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