Sitwala, Haria enter quarters

Mumbai: Southpaws, the former Asian billiards champion, Dhruv Sitwala of Hindu Gymkhana and Dhvaj Haria from Gujarat, both left-handed cueists and playing with an identical -500 points handicap cruised into the quarterfinals of the Handicap Billiards championship, at the Chembur Gymkhana Billiards Hall, here on  Thursday.

Sitwala enjoyed a good roll of the balls and tamed Nashik’s Pankaj Khatri (-150), who was not able to cover his handicap. Sitwala kept the score board ticking and gradually overcame his huge handicap before he raced to 200 points, while his opponent Khatri did not cover his handicap. As Khatri was trailing behind nine points, Sitwala, who had compiled breaks of 175, 91, 89 and 59 crossed the line winning  200-(-9).

The Gujarat cueist, Haria came up with two century breaks of 155 and 101 and that proved decisive for him to overcome ECC’s Sunil Jain (-150) 200-75, and a place in the last eight. Meanwhile, seasoned campaigners and old war horses, Ashok Shandilya of Chembur Gymkhana and Devendra Joshi of Hindu Gymkhana, both produced steady performance and made their way into the quarter finals of the championship.

Former world champion Shandilya (-450) cantered past the challenge of CCI’s Bakirao Pacharne (-100) 200-93. With the breaks of 145, 98 and 82, Shandilya made the cut. In an encounter wherein both the players were playing with the same handicap (-450), Joshi proved better than Nalin Patel with a 200-43 victory.

Pre-quarters: Haria bt Jain 200-75; Thakkar bt D’Souza 200-69; Parikh bt Agrawal 200-83; Joshi bt Patel 200-43; Sitwala bt Khatri 200- (-9); S Shrikrishna bt Agrawal 200-(-11); Shandilya bt Pacharne 200-93; Raazmi bt Khandwala 200-5.

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