No problems for Advani; Kamal Chawla made to sweat

Lucky Vatnani moved into the knock-out stages after grinding out a 3-1 win (32-62, 62-10, 65-29, 50-45) over Amarnath Sharma in a Group F match of the men's snooker event at the Hash10 World Sim Nationals here on Friday.

Vatnani, who was a frame away from claiming the senior snooker title last year, was nowhere near his best but did just enough to get past an equally lacklustre Amarnath in four frames.

Amarnath had his chances right through the match, and the result could have been different had he been half as clinical as in the first frame, which he won 62-32.

Vatnani hit back fairly soon, with breaks of 20 and 30 — not decisive by themselves — but the sequence coincided with Amarnath's barren run. Over the next three frames, Amarnath did not manage a single break of more than 16 while Vatnani's potting grew increasingly assured as he took the second frame 62-10.

Brightest phase

Trailing 29-7 in frame three, Vatnani came up with his best display of the contest. Though helped by a ricochet early in the break, Vatnani settled down to knock in a 50 to take it 65-29. The fourth frame saw Amarnath break away early, only to be reeled back in again.

Up 45-26 and with only 18 points on the table, Amarnath had at least three cracks at clearing the table, but failed to come good. Vatnani finally pulled off the perfect snook, wedging the cue ball between the cushion and the black to keep the target ball out of sight. After forcing the foul, Vatnani cleared the table to end the game.

Breezing through

Late on Thursday, Pankaj Advani got his title defence off to a flying start, seeing off Ranbir Singh Yadav 3-0 (96-12, 90-21, 94-0) in no time. Advani followed that up with another 3-0 blanking, of Nikhil Ootam, to move to the round of 32.

Kamal Chawla faced a tougher time, staving off Tamil Nadu's Vijai Nichani 3-2 (42-53, 78-16, 95-8, 39-55, 67-59) to join Manu Dev, Faisal Khan, Rafath Habib and Advani in the knock-out phase.

The results (group stages, best-of-five frames): Group A: Pankaj Advani (PSPB) bt Ranbir Singh Yadav (Raj) 96-12, 90-21, 94-0; Advani bt Nikhil Ootam (Mah) 72-44, 71-2, 67-27; Saket Saurabh (Bih) bt Ranbir Singh Yadav 70-31, 72-11, 59-46.

Group B: Kamal Chawla (Rly) bt Vijay Nichani (TN) 42-53, 78-16, 95-8, 39-55, 67-59; Chawla bt Rajat Khaneja (Chn) 55-48, 66-17, 94-0; Nichani bt Rehan Khan (Goa) 78-12, 75-35, 74-43.

Group C: Manu Dev (Kar) bt Simranjeet Singh (Raj) 48-35, 73-15, 96-13; Simranjeet bt Shridar (AP) 71-27, 71-66, 63-12; Manu bt Sumit Talwar (Chn) 59-29, 62-26, 8-69, 59-4.

Group D: Manan Chandra (PSPB) bt Vikas Sharma (UP) 56-24, 51-22, 60-23; Chandra bt Gurvinder Gulati (Pun) 72-20, 59-51, 75-44; Balaji Reddy (Kar) bt Vikas 57-55, 67-16, 64-56.

Group E: Vijay Goel (Del) bt Manish Jain (WB) 53-46, 57-46, 74-10; Manish bt Vivek Chopra (Har) 111-4, 61-31, 68-0.

Group F: Lucky Vatnani (AP) bt Sumesh Turki (J&K) 69-31, 66-29, 75-16; Vatnani bt Amarnath Sharma (Mgh) 32-62, 62-10, 65-29, 50-45; Rafath Habib (Rly) bt Turki 62-66, 67-11, 64-56, 65-26.

Group G: Mumtaz Ali (Jha) bt Nigel D'Souza (Goa) 70-18, 45-38, 77-31; Alok Kumar (PSPB) bt Nigel 57-21, 55-21, 73-38; Alok bt Sarand Shroff (Mah) 62-25, 48-3, 59-12.

Group H: Anuj Uppal (Mah) bt Siddarth Rao (TN) 74-51, 64-0, 85-9; Siddharth bt Abimanyu Gandhi (Guj) 55-49, 59-69, 29-64, 52-14, 74-32; Uppal bt Lallawmkima (Miz) 60-31, 51-10, 81-15.

Group I: Sourav Kothari (PSPB) bt Malkeet Singh (UP) 64-33, 85-21, 66-51; Malkeet bt Sukumar Burman (Asm) 60-5, 29-64, 71-42, 51-31.

Group J: Venkatesam (Rly) bt Anees Saini (Har) 40-67, 72-11, 84-20, 61-44.

Group K: Devendra Joshi (PSPB) bt Jai Shankar (PSPB) 87-10, 73-8, 63-29; Ketan Sabachandani (Guj) bt Jay Shankar 62-49, 43-67, 35-47, 52-44, 65-24. Group L: Neeraj Kumar (Rly) bt Jasim Tawin (Kar) 36-65, 65-16, 56-12, 1-70, 72-46; Bharat Sisiodiya (MP) bt Jaism Tawin 66-40, 27-54, 74-5, 27-66.

Group M: Faisal Khan (Rly) bt Divya Sharma (Har) 63-24, 33-58, 59-8, 21-69, 97-22; Faisal (Del) bt Shabaaz Adil Khan (PSPB) 69-45, 83-33, 9-56, 46-58, 60-59.

Group N: Nigel Lazar (TN) bt M.S. Arun (Kar) 72-50, 6-87, 75-33, 66-55; Pushpinder Singh (Rly) bt Lazar 76-39, 86-35, 13-85, 83-7.

Group O: Amit Bhushan (Kar) bt Shankar Rao (AP) 74-34, 73-47, 68-55; Kamal Rohnetra (J&K) bt Amit Bhushan 62-15, 49-41, 67-8.

Group P: Brijesh Damani (WB) bt D. Rajkumar (Kar) 69-39, 52-62, 65-9, 56-25; Rajkumar bt Shivam Arora (Bih) 88-2, 68-14, 21-61, 35-72, 51-50.

More In: Other Sports | Sport