India No. 4 Brijesh Damani of Indian Oil beat India No. 7 Manan Chandra in a crucial last tie to qualify for the knock-out quarter-finals of the Bombay Gymkhana Strokes Snooker Invitational Open Tournament here.
Kolkata-based Damani rallied from a 0-2 deficit to surge to a 3-2 win in a must-win contest that served to shunt out young Delhi cueist Pushpinder Singh, who would have sneaked through from Group C, had Damani lost.
Following the early advantage, Chandra frittered away a golden opportunity to snatch the crucial fourth frame and the match when he missed the pink.
With the loss, Chandra finished second in the group and will face a stiff competitor in double Asian champion Yasin Merchant in the quarter-finals.
India No. 2 Kamal Chawla of Bhopal also did India junior No. 1 Laxman Rawat of Delhi a favour when he beat formidable Siddharth Parikh of Railways 3-1 in the last tie in Group B.
The win paved the way for the talented Rawat’s entry into the quarter-finals, while Parikh, who was desperate for a win to qualify, crashed out.
Chawla will next take on another Kolkata-based cueist Manish Jain who finished second behind Merchant in Group D.
The quarter-final line-up: Aditya Mehta vs Laxman Rawat; Yasin Merchant vs Manan Chandra; Brijesh Damani vs Sourav Kothari; Kamal Chawla vs Manish Jain.
Group A: Aditya Mehta (Indian Oil) bt Sourav Kothari (ONGC) 1—65, 75—39, 56—55, 0—81(80), 55—20.
Group B: Kamal Chawla (Maha) bt Sidharth Parikh (Rlys) 55—38, 61—41, 20—72, 78(60)—9; Nalin Patel (Maha) bt Abhimanyu Gandhi (Guj) 37—89(48), 0—95(95), 55—13, 77—27, 59—36.
Group C: Brijesh Damani (Indian Oil) bt Manan Chandra (BPCL) 49—58, 17—60, 82—53, 77—54, 72—67.
Group D: Rafath Habib (Rlys) bt Himanshu Jain (Hyd) 42—53, 74—80, 55—17, 72—33, 73—4.