Mumbai: Faisal Khan of Railways rallied from a poor start to surprise junior national billiards champion Shahbaz Khan of Bharat Petroleum 4-2 in a Group B tie in the Ekta World Shyam Shroff Memorial All India Open Invitation Snooker Tournament at the Khar Gymkhana on Monday.
Faisal overcame a shaky start to cruise to an impressive 5-80, 70-22, 69-8, 64-38, 44-58, 56-16 win in the best-of-seven frames elite handicap round robin encounter.
In another upset, I H Manudev of Karnataka beat fancied Rafath Habib of Railways 4-2 in Group D.
Shahbaz fired a brilliant break of 70 on his second visit in the opening frame, fell behind 1-3 before keeping himself in the hunt by snatching the fifth.
But a significant lead by Faisal in the sixth proved decisive for the winner who registered his second win from as many matches in the group.
Sandeep Gulati of Delhi continued his winning ways as he upset Delhi rival and India No 6 Anuj Uppal and then defeated Siddharth Parikh of Railways to notch up his third win from as many ties in Group C which has enhanced his chances of a berth in the quarter-final knock out.
Asian Games bronze medallist Aditya Mehta kicked off his campaign with a hard-fought 4-2 win over Parikh, who crashed to his second defeat in three outings after shocking Uppal.
Results:Group A: Rishabh Pandya bt Deepak Khubchandani 75-62, 77-73, 62-40, 59-43;
Group B: Faisal Khan bt Shahbaz Khan 5-80, 70-22, 69-8, 64-38, 44-58, 56-16.
Group C: Siddharth Parikh bt Anuj Uppal 98-21, 91-49, 61-9, 20-62, 36-66, 72-33; Sandeep Gulati bt Siddharth Parikh 31-58, 63-19, 103(66)-8, 63-60, 60-39; Sandeep Gulati bt Anuj Uppal 68-40, 63-29, 34-68, 73-40, 57-64, 49-62, 60-1; Aditya Mehta bt Siddharth Parikh 45-68, 69-35, 82-0, 60-71, 65-15,72-8.
Group D: I H Manudev bt Rafath Habib 43-74, 76-21, 59-17, 65-44, 58-65, 87-34.