Rayaan Razmi, the National Junior champion in both, billiards and snooker, churned out another sublime display to waltz into the final. The 19-year-old Mumbai-based Rayaan, playing with a revised, higher, handicap of -675 brooked no opposition from a nervous Akshay Gogri (revised handicap -300) and completely dominated the semifinal clash and smoothly sailed to a 375-30 win in the race-to-375 points semifinal match of the SPG-PCL Billiards Tournament 2022, played at the Park Club billiards hall.
In the summit round, Rayaan will lock horns with his senior and illustrious pro Dhruv Sitwala (-975) who halted the fine winning run of Sumehr Mago (-350) by charging to a 375-187 victory in the second semi-final, played at the Shivaji Park Club billiards hall.
Rayaan was calculative in his approach and did not rush with his selection of shots. He carefully studied the options and was quite consistent when making perfect contact for the cannons and accurately made contact with the object ball to make the in-offs to construct half a dozen significant breaks.
He showed good touch and control especially at the top of table and played the postman knock with precision and the long and short winners to gather his points and compiled breaks of 170, 120, 100, 92, 80, and 71 which ensured he scored a cumulative high 1050 points, including covering up his high handicap, to win the match. Akshay had his chances, but was unable to stay focused and hold himself together and ended up finishing on the losing side.
Meanwhile, the two-time Asian billiards champion and National billiards runner-up, Sitwala, who was on a high firing two double century breaks (280 and an unfinished 238) in the earlier round, continued to dazzle and smoothly rolled in breaks of 193, 132, 119, 104, 99, 99, 99, 96, and 96 to provide a lesson in breaking building to the young Sumehr, who managed a couple of tidy breaks of 62 and 31.
Semifinals: Rayaan Razmi (-675) beat Akshay Gogri (-300) 375-30 (Rayaan breaks - 170, 120, 100, 92, 80, 71, 43, and 42).
Dhruv Sitwala (-975) beat Sumehr Mago (-350) 375-187 (Sitwala breaks - 193, 132, 119, 104, 99, 99, 99, 96, and 96).