Khubchandani wins a black ball tie thriller

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Mumbai, Feb 29 (UNI) Deepak Khubchandani was the toast of the day after fashioning a thrilling 3-2 win over Rajat Kanejia in the second round of the qualifiers in the Shyam Shroff Memorial Open Invitation Snooker Tournament 2008, held at the Khar Gymkhana here today.

In the closest contest of the day, Khubchandani squandered the lead on two occasions, as Kanejia forced the decider in the best-of-five frames encounter.

In a neck-and-neck fifth and final frame, Khubchandani and Kanejia were tied at 54-54 before Khubchandani potted the black to pull off a pulsating 52-16, 41-77, 60-38, 33-64, 61-54 win.

In another thriller that went all the way to the wire, Meenal Thakur overcame a defiant Mohammad Mueen 46-48, 57-28, 46-32, 37-57, 50-44 with the final frame ending in another absorbing black ball finish.

In other close matches, which saw formidable cueists surprisingly stretched, Khar Gymkhana's Harish Mirchandani was forced to rally to a 34-55, 67-30, 69-50, 76-35 win over Kunal Rokde, while Dhruv Sitwala of Petroleum Sports Promotion Board dropped the third frame before beating Amit Sapru 64-9, 56-16, 42-66, 67-32.

In contrast, Shahbaz Khan of Kolkata raced to a fluent 114-5, 80-16, 69-2 win over G Neeraj, with an impressive break of 69 in the opening frame being the feature of his win.

Results: Qualifiers: 2nd rd: Meenal Thakur bt Mohammad Mueen 46-48, 57-28, 46-32, 37-57, 50-44; Neeraj Kumar bt Abhishek S 62-33, 58-15, 74-47; Deepak Khubchandani bt Rajat Kanejia 52-16, 41-77, 60-38, 33-64, 61-54; Shakil Ahmed bt Rahul P 70-33, 54-8, 54-19; Harish Mirchandani bt Kunal Rokde 34-55, 67-30, 69-50, 76-35; Dhruv Sitwala bt Amit Sapru 64-9, 56-16, 42-66, 67-32; Abdul Rehman bt Magesh M 40-66, 12-56, 47-44, 61-44, 68-40; Amit Saboo bt Joseph Menezes 70-15, 72-46, 83-36; Sandeep Jadhwani bt Sanjiv Chimnani 61-41, 39-54, 63-19, 60-21; Balaji Reddy bt Nikhil Ghadge 69-26, 23-32, 69-55, 54-38; Varun Taneja bt Raju Belani 69-24, 54-10, 73-10; Shahbaz Khan (Kolkata) bt Neeraj G. 114(69)-5, 80-16, 69-2; Nikhil Ootam bt Saket Saurabh 64-42, 68-25, 70-19; Hasan Badami bt Suraj Chhabria 58-41, 42-27, 55-7; Divya Sharma bt Harshendu Giri 69-50, 55-10, 47-61, 70-30; Rovin D'Souza bt Amal Mehta 69-32, 61-31, 58-38; Harish Pahuja bt Shivam Arora 31-96, 62-22; 58-45, 75-25.

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