Sparsh Pherwani wins snooker thriller

Sparsh Pherwani beat Brijesh Damani 3-2 in a five-frame contest.

Brijesh Damani and Sparsh Pherwani who played a thrilling snooker final.   -  G. Viswanath

Indian Oil’s Brijesh Damani and Sparsh Pherwani gave a thrilling finish to the individual snooker final of the BPCL 14th PSPB Inter-Unit Billiards and Snooker tournament on Saturday. For a little over two hours the seasoned campaigner, Damani and a young and ambitious top India junior Pherwani held their nerves through the ebb and flow of a competition final, but eventually it was a youth who tasted success.

Read: Rupesh Shah wins PSPB open billiards title

Even in the closing seconds it appeared that Damani, who won the CCI open snooker title recently, was in full control of the situation, but he missed the last pink positioned close to the cushion and once the ball rebounded, he signalled the end of the match, scattering the pink and black with his cue. Pherwani won 64-24, 61-52, 54-66, 14-57, 72-62. Somewhat embarrassed, Pherwani profusely said sorry to a colleague and senior player for subjecting him to a particular snooker.

Initially Pherwani, who practices at Mumbai’s Khar Gymkhana, capitalised on the mistakes made by Damani in the first two frames. Damani’s  lapse while attempting to pot the red on a number of occasisions resulted in leaving Pherwani in good positions to score. The match could have ended 3-0 in the best of five-frames final when Damani missed the black on spot after he had actually run up a small break, but he got a second chance which he converted to take his first game.

Slightly under pressure, Pherwani who on occasions excelled in long potting, lagged behind making errors and dropped the fourth. He regained control of the match leading 36-0 in the decider and Damani needed three snookers to stay alive. He deployed the snooker tactics exceptionally well and succeeded in getting 14 points on the black. A foul shot by Pherwani later brought Damani back in contention, but with the last two balls on the table, he slipped on the pink, expressed a wry smile before congratulating the winner.

Recruited under the scholarship scheme last year by Indian Oil, Pherwani according to the discerning cuesport watchers, is a much improved player. It was his first PSPB event and he won it. It was also the first title that went out of the grasp of ONGC. Damani eliminated the last ONGC player, Rupesh Shah in the semi-finals. Pherwani beat BPCL’s S. Shrikrishna in the semi-finals.

Results

Snooker Open: Final: Sparsh Pherwani (IOC) bt Brijesh Damani (IOC) 64-24, 61-52, 54-66, 14-57, 72-62; 3/4 place: S.Shrikrishna (BPCL) bt Rupesh Shah (ONGC) 73-1, 61-16,8-58, 64-32.

Semi-finals: Brijesh Damani bt Rupesh Shah 3-0 (75-13, 82-1, 73-40); Sparsh Pherwani bt S. Shrikrishna 3-2 (80-6,16-69,65-13,36-58, 76-56).