Kamal Chawla heaved a huge sigh of relief after booking a berth in the pre-quarterfinals of the Asian snooker championship here on Wednesday.

On the final day of the group matches at the Yeshwant Club, Chawla's fate depended on the match between Thailand's Passakorn Suwannawat, the leader of Group F, and Imran Shahzad of Pakistan.

Irrespective of the result, Suwannawat required to win at least three frames to help the Indian progress.

Chawla must be thankful to the Thai who overcame a poor start to beat Shahzad. Suwannawat made crucial pots while registering a 21-67, 74-35, 0-77, 55-42, 68-48, 63-61 win.

The cueist from Bhopal was delighted after qualifying for the last 16. “I had a lot of doubt as the Thai was not playing at his best. I was mentally ready to pack up and go home,” said Chawla, who became the fourth Indian to make the knock-out stage.

Pankaj Advani, Aditya Mehta and I.H. Manudev were the other three to seal a berth in the pre-quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, Advani suffered an unlikely defeat at the hands of Yutapop Pokpoj of Thailand. In his last group match, Advani lost 109-8, 12-67, 14-72, 64-42, 6-76, 94(93)-4, 45-65. However, he finished on top of Group B. Other results: Group A: Mohammad Al Joaker (UAE) bt Muhammad Sajjad (Pak) 74(52)-25, 71(51)-39, 31-77(60), 1-78(55), 55-52, 8-75(67), 113(113)-16; Group D: Jin Long (Chn) bt Mohammad Saleh (Afg) 34-69, 61(54)-48, 80(80)-4, 66(66)-22, 40-71, 91(64)-0.

Group E: Karam Fatima (Syr) bt Noppadal Sangnil (Tha) 83-4, 69-21, 91-39, 41-93, 51-75, 3-52, 69-1; Group G: Tian Pengfei (Chn) bt Omar Alkojah (Syr) 100-18, 79-27, 95(88)-0, 92(92)-0; Ahmed Ghuloom (Bah) bt Danny Lam Tuck Weng (Sin) 9-65, 66-11, 58-35, 63-7, 47-64, 68-41. Group H: Alvin Ambatali Barbero (Phi) bt Ali Hassan Ali (Irq) 34-69, 61(54)-48, 80(80)-4, 66(66)-22, 40-71, 91(64)-0; Ali Hussain Ali (Irq) bt Satoshi Nakamura (Jpn) 31-60, 61-17, 63-34, 70-23, 73-0.

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