Qualifier Gulati shocks Merchant to enter semis

Mumbai, Jan 14 (PTI) Qualifier Sandeep Gulati upsetformer Asian champion Yasin Merchant while Faisal Khan shutout national number 2 Lucky Vatnani to enter the semi-finalsof the Ekta World Shyam Shroff Memorial All India OpenInvitation snooker tournament at the Khar Gymkhana here today.

Delhi cueist Gulati recovered brilliantly after droppingthe first two frames against local ace Merchant, a member ofthe silver medal winning team in the Guangzhou Asian Games, totake the next five for a 5-2 victory in the quarter-finalclash.

Gulati, who won 43-70, 25-73, 59-16, 59-52, 65-36, 49-35,28-7, set up a clash in the semis against former juniornational champion Shabaz Khan of Bharat Petroleum, also aqualifier, who ousted seasoned Rafath Habib of Railways 5-2 inanother quarter-final.

Hyderabad''s Vatnani was beaten 1-5 by Faisal Khan ofRailways who will meet title favourite Aditya Mehta of IndianOil, who won the individual snooker bronze and a team silverin Guangzhou, for a place in tomorrow''s final. Mehta got pastI H Manudev of Karnataka 5-1.

Results (Quarter-finals): Shahbaz Khan (BPCL) bt RafathHabib (Rlys) 51-47, 44-83(77), 81(81)-16, 63(56)-8, 13-55,68-61, 87-24; Sandeep Gulati (Delhi) bt Yasin Merchant (Maha)43-70, 25-73, 59-16, 59-52, 65-36, 49-35, 28-7; Faisal Khan(Rlys) bt Lucky Vatnani (Hyd) 67-29, 5-64, 62-16, 65-37, 62-1,61-19; Aditya Mehta (Indian Oil) bt Dr I H Manudev (Kar)65-29, 56-70, 71-32, 78-0, 56-11, 84-0.

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