Mumbai, Nov 25 (UNI) Formidable Aditya Mehta endured a surprise challenge before advancing to the senior snooker semi-finals with a pulsating 4-3 win over Nikhil Ootam, in the Matunga Gymkhana Maharashtra State Selection 2007 Billiards&Snooker Tournament, at the Matunga Gymkhana here today.
True to his reputation, Chembur Gymkhana's Mehta started brilliantly by racing to a comfortable 3-1 lead in a thrilling best-of-seven frames quarter-final against CCI's Ootam. But Ootam came back strongly with a late challenge and kept his hopes alive by clinching a tight fifth frame and the sixth to force the decider.
Ootam, who had an easy red on the mouth of the pocket early in the deciding seventh frame, chose to opt for another red to come in position. But he bungled the pot and Mehta seized the opportunity to return for a decisive break of 45 to snatch the frame and tie.
In contrast, Marzdi Kalyaniwala beat Rovin D'Souza 4-1, Rishabh Pandya overcame Jatinder Dawer 4-2 and Amit Saboo prevailed over Harish Mirchandani 4-1 to join Mehta in the four-man round robin league where the top two would qualify to represent Maharashtra in the Nationals in Hyderabad.
Results: Sr. Snooker (QF): Aditya Mehta bt Nikhil Ootam 66-1, 63-27, 14-69, 61-54, 39-56, 22-56, 53-15; Marzdi Kalyaniwala bt Rovin D'Souza 55-9, 67-43, 87-4, 38-62, 69-33; Rishabh Pandya bt Jatinder Dawer 77-10, 73-8, 64-21, 45-53, 11-63, 57-43; Amit Saboo bt Harish Mirchandani 71-31, 76-8, 60-15, 32-59, 70-58.