Mumbai : Dhvaj Haria of Indian Oil grabbed all the attention as he smoothly rolled in a mammoth 288 points break to bulldoze his way past S. Simachalam of Railways by an overwhelming 777-227 points margin of victory in a pre-quarter-final (120-minute) match of the Rs 3.8 lakhs prize-money CCI Billiards Classic 2018, organized by the Cricket Club of India and played at the Club’s Sir Wilson Jones Billiards Room, Churchgate.
The tall, left-handed cueist Dhvaj was completely focused and showed good concentration as he went about his task. He played with a soft touch and controlled the balls to his liking. He struck the balls with pinpoint accuracy and clever selection of shots helped in his build up to the big effort. Besides the double century run, he managed a break of 96 and a century run of 141 to completely knock the fight out of his opponent, who was not given much opportunites to be at the table.
The Gujarat-based Dhvaj in the process surpassed Sourav Kothari’s efforts of 261 and 247, which he had compiled in the initial phase.
In the quarter-final, Dhvaj will clash with former Asian Billiards Champion, Alok Kumar of ONGC who scored a slick 520-417 win against Devendra Joshi of BPCL in the another pre-quarter-final encounter.
Later in the day, young Tamil Nadu cueist S. Shrikrishna tamed seasoned campaigner and former two-time Asian Billiards champions Dhruv Sitwala of ONGC 619-276 with a degree of comfort.
The young Shrikrishna, winner of four National titles (Junior billiards and snooker and Sub-Junior billiards and snooker) called the shots from the start and produced fine efforts of 90. 83, 63, 121 and 63 to knock the fight out his senior rival.
He will clash with Siddharth Parikh of Railways who defeated his compatriot Neeraj Kumar 584-416.
ONGC player Kothari also enjoyed an easy passage to the quarter-finals as he defeated Indian Oil’s Brijesh Damani 616-468 on an adjacent table. Kothari maintained his fine run of form and had two century breaks of 140 and 122 and two runs of 99, while Damani’s best was 67 and 52.
Kothari will take on Maharashtra’s Rohan Jambusaria who recorded a creditable 448-333 win against Indian Oil’s Aditya Mehta in another last 16 match.
Jambusaria and Mehta were locked in a keen tussle, but the former who played steadily and was able to capitalize on every opportunity to score points did well to keep the scoreboard ticking and managed to win the match and march into the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, Railway cueists Ashok Shandilya and S. Venkatesh, both won their respective round of 16 matches to set up a clash in the quarter-finals.
The former World Champion Shandilya staved off a spirited challenge from another former World Champ Rupesh Shah by a 484-421 margin. On the side table, Venkatesh pulled off a 412-376 victory against Vishal Madan of Maharashtra in another last 16 encounter.