Mumbai: Former Asian Games Gold medalist, Rafat Habib of Railways was in prime form and recorded two successive wins in Group-D of the MIG Cricket Club organized third Master’s National Snooker Championship – 2019, and played at the MIG Club billiards hall on Sunday. The event is being organised under the aegis of BSFI and BSAM.
First, the Chennai-based Habib warmed-up nicely as he played steadily to defeat Maharashtra’sAmit Sapru 3-1 (57-37, 58-18, 13-46 and 77-10). Later, Habib produced some impressive performances as he constructed three substantial breaks of 77 (1st frame), 55 (3rd frame) and 45 (4th frame) as he went on to record a 3-1 win against Maharashtra Sanjiv Shah, who tried his best to put up a challenge.
The bearded Habib was in full flow and clinched an 88-26, 31-55, 74-14 and 85-01 victory and has virtually assured himself a place in the next phase of the competition. He has a match against Dhruv Agarwal of West Bengal on Monday.
Meanwhile, Karnataka’s D. Rajkumar started with a flourish by convincingly winning both his matches in Group-E. The Karnataka cueist blanked Shekhar Surve of Railways 3-0 (86-59, 87-17 and 86-01) and then halted the fine run of Goa’s Samar Khandelwal by recording a fluent 3-0 (85-43, 62-08, 64-03) victory. Both Rajkumar and Khandelwal (2 wins, 1 loss) are in contention of qualifying for the knockout rounds from this group.
Anuj Upal of Delhi and Rafat Habib of Railways launched the campaign on a winning track. Upal defeated Maharashtra’s Bapu Gaikwad 3-0 (76-16, 75-19 and 92-08) in a Group-C match, while in Group-D encounter, Habib prevailed over Maharashtra’s Amit Sapru 3-1 (57-37, 58-18, 13-46 and 77-10).