Merchant and Advani also enter pre-quarterfinals
The big guns made expected progress, moving into the pre-quarterfinals of the men's snooker event at the Hash10 World Sim Nationals, here on Sunday.
Aditya Mehta, who has played four matches in the space of a day and a half, betrayed first signs of fatigue, but still had enough in reserve to register a 101-11, 70-33, 88-10, 50-38 win over Sarang Shroff.
Mehta's best spell came early on, as the cueist based out of Sheffield reeled out breaks of 33 and 54 in the first frame, winning it 101-11. He blew hot and cold from then on, interspersing breaks (of 49 in the second and 42 in the third) with miscues and heavy touches, despite which he raced to a 3-0 lead.
Shroff's unwillingness to make good his chances — the best of which came and went in the final frame when he had to pot the lone black to claim it — made the job easier for Mehta, who will face former National champion Siddharth Rao in the next round.
Yasin Merchant's campaign, off to a laboured start in the group stage, gathered momentum with a 63-18, 79-0, 52-20, 75-25 dismissal of Devendra Joshi in one of the earlier knockout matches of the day.
Pankaj Advani, meanwhile, progressed sedately along, blanking Sumit Talwar 58-49, 72-3,117-2, 69-22. The defending champion hasn't dropped a single frame across four matches, moving into the last 16.
The Lucky Vatnani-Manan Chandra encounter promised a lot, pitting as it did a promising youngsters in the circuit against one of the more experienced cueists in the country. Vatnani took the first frame but was able to tally just 20 points in the subsequent three, going on to lose 49-52, 70-9, 67-4, 59-7, 70-49.
The loss against rookie Amit Bhushan in the last group match didn't have much effect on Rupesh Shah, who was comfortable in his 59-26, 60-17, 62-48, 54-63, 68-23 win over Jasim Tawin, another qualifier.
Venkatesam, who knocked Alok Patel out of the billiards event, was at the receiving end this time, losing out 75-50, 69-7, 63-26, 71-35 to Patel.
Kamal Chawla and Sourav Kothari were not unduly troubled in their round-of-32 matches either, while Siddharth Rao and Vijay Goel were stretched to seven frames by Faisal Khan and Sandeep Gulati, respectively.
The results (round of 32, best-of-seven frames): Yasin Merchant (Mah) bt Devendra Joshi (PSPB) 63-18, 79-0, 52-20, 75-25; Pushpinder Singh (Rly) bt Saket Saurabh (Bih) 82-14, 20-64, 79-20, 75-04, 80-3; Rafath Habib (Rly) bt Nigel Lazar (TN) 51-43, 66-40, 62-26, 71-53; Siddarth Rao (TN) bt Faisal Khan (Rly) 40-71, 64-26, 4-74, 67-55, 51-9, 60-72, 77-72; Neeraj Kumar (Rly) bt Amit Bhushan (Kar) 82-19, 68-2, 77-40, 3-52, 29-57, 77-25; Rupesh Shah (Guj) bt Jasim Tawin (Kar) 59-26, 60-17, 62-48, 54-63, 68-23; Subrat Das (Ori) bt Anuj Uppal (Mah) 57-64, 67-5, 74-46, 52-61, 64-48, 41-58, 72-33.
Vijay Goel (Del) bt Sandeep Gulati (Del) 6-76, 75-47, 1-64, 68-27, 44-61, 97-37, 65-11; Kamal Chwala (Rly) bt Malkeet Singh (UP) 81-2, 30-63, 43-9, 82-5, 77-73; Sourav Kothari (PSPB) bt Balaji Reddy (Kar) 16-55, 78-0, 79-0, 13-70, 76-0, 106-9; Brijesh Damani (WB) bt Vijay Nichani (TN) 75-43, 63-37, 33-62, 70-23, 108-1; Manan Chandra (PSPB) bt Lucky Vatnani (AP) 49-52, 70-9, 67-4, 59-7, 70-49; Aditya Mehta (PSPB) bt Sarang Shroff (Mah) 101-11, 70-33, 88-10, 50-38; Pankaj Advani (PSPB) bt Sumit Talwar (Chn) 58-49, 72-3,117-2, 69-22; Alok Kumar (PSPB) bt K. Venkatesam (Rly) 75-50, 69-7, 63-26, 71-35; Manu Dev (Kar) bt Rajkumar (Kar) 63-31, 1-66, 48-3, 58-18, 47-77, 63-33.
Keywords: Hash10 World Sim Nationals