Mumbai: Balaji Reddy of Karnataka fought hard against his more fancied rival Rafath Habib of Railways before going down 2-4 in the qualifying rounds of the Ekta World Shyam Shroff Memorial All India Open Invitation Snooker Tournament at the Khar Gymkhana here on Friday.
Habib rallied from a 1-2 deficit to pull off a 72-19 13-73 29-66 78-32 49-27 61-26 victory to enter the main draw by reaching the semifinals of the qualifiers.
He is to meet Shahbaz Khan of Bharat Petroleum, who ousted giant-slayer Abhimanyu Gandhi of Gujarat in another quarterfinal, for a place in the qualifying stage final.
Siddharth Parikh of Railways set up the other semi- final against Maharashtra champion Rishabh Pandya of Indian Oil after both cueists registered 4-0 quarterfinal wins.
The four semi-finalists have qualified for the elite round robin main draw, where they will be joined in four groups of five players each by Khar Gymkhana qualifiers Deepak Khubchandani, Haresh Pahuja, Reza Merchant and Goldie Kohli.
Two players from each group would enter the quarter- final knockout round.
Results: (Qualifying round quarters): Siddharth Parikh (Rlys) bt Roshan Mirchandani (Maha) 55-40 59-2 75-38 51-47; Rishabh Pandya (IOC) bt Arun Agrawal (Maha) 64-7 48-11 48-23 68-27; Rafath Habib (Rlys) bt Balaji Reddy (Kar) 72-19 13-73 29-66 78-32 49-27 61-26; Shahbaz Khan (BPCL) bt Abhimanyu Gandhi (Guj) 56-50 79-8 35-67 71-47 65-32.