Double Junior National champion Rayaan Razmi of Maharashtra and West Bengal's Sourav Kothari made strong statements by quickly winning their respective group matches by identical 4-0 margins on the opening day of the National Sports Club of India (NSCI) All India Snooker Open 'Baulkline' 2022.
The 20-year-old Mumbai-based Razmi, who had won both the billiards and snooker crowns in Bhopal last December, quickly got into a rhythm and struck the ball well, while compatriot Vishal Gehani was unable to settle down and caved in without a fight in their Group-D match played at the NSCI billiards hall on Monday.
Razmi immediately got down to business and after taking the first frame, hit breaks of 33, 45 and 37 in the next three frames to complete a 4-0 (70-30, 85-12, 79-41, and 81-8) victory.
Meanwhile, in a Group-E match, the 37-year-old experienced Kothari gave a superb demonstration of excellent shot selection, accurate potting, and shrewd tactical play against 19-year-old Digvijay Kadian of Haryana, who was unable to match his senior opponent.
Kothari, who recently won both the snooker and billiards titles in the Pacific International Championship in Melbourne, started by winning a tight first frame and then comfortably pocketed the second to take a 2-0 lead.
In the third, Kadian potted much better and with only two colours remaining gained a 58-42 lead. But, he missed a difficult pink and the crafty Kothari cleverly snookered Kadian and the youngster fouled giving away six points, which narrowed the lead.
Thereafter, both attempted a safety approach before Kadian sold the pink in the centre and KOthari grabbed the chance, sinking the last two balls to clinch the frame. In the fourth Kadian hardly got a look in as Kothari fired in a break of 58 and a couple of visits later rolled in a clearance of 67 to seal a 4-0 (65-58, 75-31, 61-58, and 125-0) win.
In a Group-G all-Railway contest, India No. 6 Pushpender Singh staged a great recovery to put it across Nitesh Madan winning seven well-contested frames at 4-3 (59-71, 41-77, 91-13, 80-39, 58-65, 50-28, and 59-10).
Later, Uttar Pradesh's Vishwajeet Mohan got the better of Maharashtra's Abhishek Bajaj by a 4-2 (63-21, 57-43, 63(32)-54, 81-45, 29-70, 80-39) win.
Group-A: Sparsh Pherwani (MAH) bt Mahaesh Jagdale (MAH) 4-3 (01-0, 01-0 (forfeited the first 2 frames for reporting late), 21-70, 64-66, 71(67)-32, 9-80, 49-36).
Group-D: Rayaan Razmi (MAH) bt Vishal Gehani (MAH) 4-0 (70-30, 85(33)-12, 79(45)-41, 81(37)-8).
Group-E: Sourav Kothari (WB) bt Digvijay Kadian (HAR) 4-0 (65-58, 75-31, 61-58, 125(58,67)-0); P. Vijay (TN) bt K. Venkatesham (RLYS) 4-1 (75-23, 29-68, 53-37, 80(39)-23, 62(47)-7).
Group-G: Pushpender Singh (RLYS) bt Nitesh Madan (RLYS) 4-3 (59-71, 41-77, 91-13, 80-39, 58-65, 50-28, 59-10); Vishwajeet Mohan (UP) bt Abhishek Bajaj (MAH) 4-2 (63-21, 57-43, 63(32)-54, 81-45, 29-70, 80-39.
( 479 Words)