Mumbai: Ranked second in the junior cadre in the country, Kreishh Gurbaxani’s patience paid off as he clawed his way back from 0-3 down to turn the tables on Asutosh Padhy 5-4 and the Bombay Gymkhana Youth Snooker Open title, at the Bombay Gymkhana billiards room.
Kreishh, who had convincingly won his previous matches struggled a bit initially, but managed settle down to quash the aspirations of Asutosh by clinching a 30-63, 46-57, 42-51, 60-45, 64-57, 68-21, 01-63, 85-28 and 77-31 victory in the close to four-hour contest.
In the process, Kreishh, who turns 17 next week earned himself an advance birthday gift and he also claimed his first big snooker title after finishing runner-up in the Junior Nationals early this year.
“It was an amazing match. This was the toughest challenge I faced in the entire tournament. He (Asutosh) played very well and almost looked like running away with the title.
I was a bit tight at the start and after going down 0-3, I decided to play freely like in a practice match and it helped me to be a lot more relaxed and somehow that clicked for me,” said a satisfied Kreishh, who plays at the Khar Gymkhana.
Kreishh received the ‘Champions’ trophy and a cheque of Rs 30,000 from Bombay Gymkhana, President, Vijay Rai, while Asutosh received the runner-up trophy and a cheque of Rs 20,000 from Sanjiv Saran Mehra, Vice President, Bombay Gymkhana.
Asutosh was steady from the beginning and with Kreishh unable to find his rhythm he grabbed the chances to pocket the opening three frames. But, Kreishh halted the slide as he finally got on the scoreboard winning the fourth.
In the fifth, Asutosh missed a regulation blue, which would have sealed the frame and Kreishh seized the opportunity to pot the last three colours to win a tight frame to further reduce the deficit. Surviving the reprieve he comfortably won the sixth to level the frame scores at 3-3.
Once again Asutosh took the lead when he easily won the seventh but, thereafter, his concentration wavered as he was unable to stop Kreishh from pocketing the last two frames to secure a satisfying victory and emerge champion.
Earlier in the semi-finals, Kreishh knocked out top seed Shrikrishna of Tamil Nadu by carving out a comfortable 4-2 win, with the frame scores reading 59-56, 83-14, 02-66(53), 29-58, 59-47 and 77-41.
Another favourite, second seed Ishpreet also crashed out going down to Asutosh 3-4 in the second semi-final. Asutosh fought well to pull off a 77-64, 20-57, 09-62, 69-00, 05-71, 65-22 and 60-12 win.
Semi-final: Kreishh Gurbaxani bt S Shrikrishna 4-2 (59-56, 83-14, 02-66(53), 29-58, 59-47, 77-41);
Asutosh Padhy beat Ishpreet Singh Chaddha 4-3 (77-64, 20-57, 09-62, 69-00, 05-71, 65-22, 60-12)
Final: Kreishh Gurbaxani beat Asutosh Padhy 5-4 (30-63, 46-57, 42-51, 60-45, 64-57, 68-21, 01-63, 85-28, 77-31).