Mumbai : Hyderabad-based player Himanshu Jain overcame the early blues and a shaky start as he fell in arrears 0-2, but he recovered brilliantly to crown himself in glory by winning the inaugural edition of the Matunga Gymkhana 9-Red Open Handicap Snooker Tournament 2017, which is sponsored and hosted by Matunga Gymkhana.

The 25-year-old Jain (+3 handicap) played sluggishly in the opening two frames, which he lost. But then he gradually found his touch and began to find the pots with regualar consistency and went on to quash the aspiration of 22-year-old Nikhil Saigal (+14) of Khar Gymkhana by clinch a 5-2 victory in the best-of-9 frame finals at the Matunga Gymkhana’s billiards hall.

For his fantastic performances and winning the tournament, Jain was presented with a handsome crystal trophy and the winner’s cheque of Rs 40,000. Saigal received the runner-up trophy and a award of Rs 22,000. The two losing semi-finalists, Yasin Merchant and Rishbah Thakkar were awarded a cheque of Rs 12,000 each. The four losing quarter-finalists took home a cheuqe of Rs 7,000 each.

Jain, a former cueist from the Mumbai, was a bit tight initially and created too many mistakes. The luck factor was also not too kind to him as he gave away many negative points from fouls to his younger opponent Saigal, who with some steady play went on to pocket the first two frames.

But, Jain finally came to grips with his potting from the third frame and asserted his authority to take the match away for the Khar Gymkhana player who was left clueless and was unable to offer much of a fight. Jain, who had some multiple tiny breaks, finally came good in the fifth by compiling a break of 45, the best of the final as he romped to a 41-70, 24-55, 67-37, 66-39, 68(45)-17, 57-27, 61-18 victory.

The former two-time Asian Snooker champion, Yasin who had constructed a break of 87 in the earlier round won the highest break of the tournament award in the ‘A’ category and he got Rs 3,000 and a memento. Kreishh Gurbaxani and Saparsh Pherwani, also won similar awards of Rs 3,000 and mementos for the highest breaks in their respective categories.

Prizes – Winner: Himanshu Jain – Crystal Trophy and Rs 40,000; Runner-up: Nikhil Saigal – Crystal Trophy and Rs 22,000; Losing semi-finalists: Yasin Merchant, Rishabh Thakkar, both Rs 12,000 each, Losing quarter-finalists: Arun Agrawal, Manav Panchal, Rovin D’Souza, Dhairya Bhandari, all 4 Rs 7,000 each.

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