Geet Sethi, on the brink of elimination, came up with a special effort and eventually scripted a great escape from the jaws of defeat against Thailand’s Chuchart Trairattanapradit. The Indian ace chalked up a 49-63, 81-19, 55-67, 1-64, 67-60, 105-36, 69-4 win to enter the Masters’ quarterfinal of the ONGC-IBSF World snooker championship at the HICC Hall here on Saturday.

Down 1-3, Sethi was staring at the prospect of being knocked out of the championship. In the fifth frame, it was a story of missed chances for both. Sethi potted the pink to reduce the lead to 53-60 and then missed the black, the only colour left on the table. Chuchart was on target, potting it to level the scores and extend the issue into the tie-breaker.

Predictably, both preferred safety play initially in the tie-breaker. But soon Sethi responded in style — potting the black to his opponent’s dismay and the delight of the few die-hard fans, including Pankaj Advani, who turned up to watch the match.

Rash stroke

Sethi pointed out that it was actually a rash stroke, reflecting how disheartened he was. But, it was this ‘fluke black’ which brought the Indian cueist back into the game. “I was actually trying to double it (black) in the green pocket. But even before I could pray to God, the ball was in the pocket. It was the turning point of the match,” exclaimed a visibly relieved Sethi.

And, like a true champion, Sethi never looked back after that as he came up with decent breaks to level the scores in the next frame. The Thai player also had the misfortune of committing three fouls to see his lead reduce from 36-20 to 36-32. With his potting far more accurate now, Sethi emerged the winner.

“After that tie-breaker, I just clung on, and importantly, my potting was really precise,” Sethi remarked.

“It is not so easy against an opponent whose safety play was great. But was it not the match of the championship so far?” Sethi asked with a huge smile before leaving the media room.

Burden on fire

On the adjacent table, it was the turn of Alfie Burden (England) to stun former World champion Steve Misfud (Australia) 8-98, 86-0, 62-30, 64-56, 76-7 in the men’s Round of 64 with a display which was not surprising given the form he was in.

The other major upset in the men’s category was R. Girish of India shocking third-seeded Mohamed Shehab (UAE) with a 4-1 victory while wild-card entrant Lucky Vatnani also made it to the next phase with a fine win over Lim Chun Kiat of Singapore in his maiden World championship.

The results: Men: Round of 64: R. Girish (Ind) bt Mohamed Shehab (UAE) 22-68, 55-25, 58-31, 63-37, 64-39; Lucky Vatnani (Ind) bt Lim Chun Kiat (Sing) 68-42, 54-24, 26-69, 59-38, 68-50; Philip Wiliams (Wales) bt Duncan Bezzina (Malta) 68-55, 73-30, 90-70, 60-12; Manan Chandra (Ind) bt Shahbaz Khan (Ind) 27-43, 77-20, 62-14, 48-61, 41-60, 71-43, 73-27; Anthony McGill (Scot) bt Omar Alkojah (Syr) 38-61, 39-61, 95-9, 38-61, 69-33, 63-11, 101-5; Gavin Pantall (Wales) bt M.S. Arun (Ind) 48-79, 61-62, 72-36, 62-59, 61-63, 74-58, 75-27.

Aditya Mehta (Ind) bt Chan Ka Kin (Hkg) 66-10, 74-0, 74-71, 69-42; Nader K. Sultani (Afg) bt Sandeep Gulati (Ind) 79-80, 60-42, 40-53, 43-50, 64-33, 56-35, 59-50; Alfie Burden (England) bt Steve Mifsud (Aus) 8-98, 86-0, 62-30, 64-56, 76-7; Muhammad Sajjad (Pak) bt Chih Hua Huang (Tpi) 61-51, 49-14, 95-0, 65-24; James Mifsud (Aus) bt Sascha Lippe (Ger) 53-81, 51-38, 77-34, 76-30, 60-45; Mohd. Al-Joaker (UAE) bt Suleman Salam (Swe) 71-35, 69-17, 68-55, 80-1.

Mario Fernandez (Ire) bt Takao Kurimoto (Jpn) 51-63, 74-0, 65-1, 67-7, 87-1; Habib Subah Habib (Bah) bt Alain Vandersteen (Blg) 32-71, 29-51, 62-15, 0-76, 63-49, 61-37, 80-38; I. H. Manudev (Ind) bt Yu Lun Wu (Tpi) 59-24, 44-68, 65-24, 38-68, 73-21, 23-68, 63-33; Yuttapop Pakpoj (Thai) bt Leonard Shanahan (Ire) 76-67, 69-21, 23-68, 75-8, 71-10.

Masters: Round of 16: Geet Sethi (Ind) bt Chuchart Trairattanapradit (Thai) 49-63, 81-19, 55-67, 1-64, 67-60, 105-36, 69-4; Costas Konnaris (Cyp) bt Ali Jaafer (Fra) 34-86, 55-61, 65-18, 71-22, 55-64, 48-28, 57-31; Dene O’Kane (Nzl) bt Hitesh Naran (SA) 74-15, 56-22, 22-60, 63-31, 67-9; Glen Wilkinson (Aus) bt Ron Jones (Wales) 84-10, 66-32, 10-68, 68-55, 15-90, 65-13.

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