Ishpreet thwarts Rupesh’s comeback; Kothari and Advani have it easy

Ishpreet Singh survived by the skin of his teeth to prevail over a fighting Rupesh Shah 5-4 (59-7, 59-0, 0-71(71), 46-9, 55-8, 22-34, 32-40, 13-40, 41(41)-27) and enter the pre-quarterfinals

Rupesh Shah playing against Ishpreet Singh in 7th National 6 Red Snooker Tournament held in Chennai on Thursday.   -  V. Ganesan

Ishpreet Singh survived by the skin of his teeth to prevail over a fighting Rupesh Shah 5-4 (59-7, 59-0, 0-71(71), 46-9, 55-8, 22-34, 32-40, 13-40, 41(41)-27) and enter the pre-quarterfinals of the National 6-Red snooker tournament, here on Thursday.

Having breezed through the first two frames, the Maharashtra boy encountered a different Rupesh in the next and the former World and Asian champion’s break of 71 gave him the third frame. That the game would go down to the wire was not evident even then as Ishpreet quickly put behind the loss of the frame and pocketed the next two.

But Rupesh had other ideas, and giving up was not one of them. With some brilliant safety play and potting, he did enough to stay ahead and push the contest to the decider.

But he could get only that far as Ishpreet cleared the table with a break of 41 to settle the issue.

“I am so overwhelmed to have won against Rupesh. It feels like I’ve crossed the winning line already,” said a much-relieved Ishpreet.

“I am feeling confident after this win, but 6-Red is anyone’s game. So, let’s see how it goes.”

Also advancing was Sourav Kothari, who eased past Lucky Vatnani 5-1.

Pankaj Advani, meanwhile, whitewashed E. Pandurangaiah 5-0. Though Advani trailed briefly in the first frame, he cleared the table in the end to clinch the frame. After that there was no looking back as he wrapped it up in an hour’s time.

The results: Vinayak Agarwal bt Digvijay Kadian 5-4; (15-38, 30-5, 36-7, 30-40, 8-46, 41-17, 50-17, 12-43, 32-7); Ishpreet Singh bt Rupesh Shah 5-4 (59-7, 59-0, 0-71(71), 46-9, 55(55)-8, 22-34, 32-40, 13-40, 41(41)-27). Varun Madan bt Dhruv Sitwala 5-3 (16-43, 39-6, 33-29, 8-36, 35-9, 31-32, 37-7, 45-13); Sourav Kothari bt Lucky Vatnani 5-1 (40-8, 65 (41)-4, 30-10, 8-55, 42-14, 35-20).

Sandeep Gulati bt Yogesh Kumar 5-2 (1-72 (51), 34-0, 38-10, 18-31, 44-9, 41-8, 37-22); Sahil Nayyar bt Md Hassan Khan 5-3 (27-33, 44-22, 45 (41)-8, 57-14, 40-33, 16-34, 28-37, 34-8). Pushpender Singh bt Rajat Khaneja 5-3 (41-7, 39-5, 27-36, 12-37, 41 (41)-0, 33-43, 47-21, 32-16); Pankaj Advani bt Pandurangaiah 5-0 (46-33, 67 (41)-0, 74 (70)-0, 52-9, 34-23).

Akshay Kumar bt Nitesh Madan 5-0 (30-14, 56-15, 41-22, 38-13, 39-26); Avinash bt Venkatesam 5-3 (43 (43)-0, 41-12, 24-37, 49-12, 32-22, 11-41, 25-56, 48-10). R. Girish bt Laxman Rawat 5-4 (51-21, 52-1, 15-51, 14-40, 32-29, 1-52 (44), 0-44, 74 (74)-0, 41-13); Kamal Chawla bt Suffiyan Ahmed 5-1 (8-32, 47-0, 68-7, 47-16, 45-1, 44-18).

Malkeet Singh bt Alok Kumar 5-4 (7-57 (53), 43-0, 39-5, 6-58 (58), 19-36, 33-23, 0-50 (46), 49 (49)-0, 27-12); I.H. Manudev bt Faisal Khan 5-2 (31-79, 51-0, 75-0, 71-10, 25-52, 43-29, 32-19).

Vijay Nichani bt Rohit Malhotra 5-3 (36-44, 45-2, 9-53, 38-4, 27-14, 22-27, 39-9, 36-30); G. Prabhu bt Anurag Giri 5-4 (12-30, 39-27, 37-21, 6-64, 0-48, 39-12, 43-10, 5-56, 46-2).