Arun Agarwal shocks Damani to enter last eight

Pune: Maharashtra`s Arun Agarwal caused the biggest upset of the day by beating Brijesh Damani, who had defeated Geet Sethi on his way to the knock-out stage, in the Manisha National Billiards Championship at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana.

Maharashtra`s Agarwal rallied from 1-2 to stun Bengal`s Damani 3-2 (19-152 (58) 150 (84)-139 (67) 82-151 151-148 150-68).

Joining Agarwal in the quarterfinals was another Mumbai -based cueist V Subramanian, who was lucky to sneak into the knock-out from the group stage as Sethi withdrew from the championship after making the grade, due to personal reasons.

Also making it to the last eight were defending champion Pankaj Advani, former champions Rupesh Shah and Alok Kumar, who accounted for Devendra Joshi, Siddharth Parikh, last year`s runner-up, B Bhaskar and Sourav Kothari.

In the pre-quarterfinal match, Subramanian played with confidence despite losing the first frame 123-155 to seasoned Prem Prakash.

That was a tight contest but then on the one-eyed cueist brought off good breaks to wrap up the match and quarterfinal berth, winning the next three 152-124 152-98 150-32 which included a break of 64 in the second frame.

In the quarterfinals, Subramanian will meet Kothari, who made it to his first national billiards quarters with a hard- fought 3-2 win over Railways cueist S Simachalam.

Kothari won the first and third frames while Simachalam fought back by taking the second and fourth.

In the third, Kothari had a brake of 112 to take it 152-7, before the match went into the decider where both played safely before the Kolkata cueist managed a break of 25 to take the frame and the match 152-18.