Mehta downs Chawla to retain national crown

Pune: Aditya Mehta won his second national snooker title in a period of six months by outplaying Kamal Chawla 6-2 in the best-of-eleven frame final in the 78th Manisha National Championships at the PYC Hindy Gymkhana in Pune on Saturday.

In the battle between the two Mumbai-based cueists, Mehta showed the benefits of playing on the pro-circuit, as he dismantled the game of Railways rival Chawla, who finished third in the last IBSF world championships, after rallying from the loss of the opening two frames.

Mehta, of the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board, won 0-60, 48-65, 72-49, 69-38, 80-9, 71-27, 67 (58)-1, 80 (80)-0) in the summit contest that was a bit short on quality.

Down 0-2, Mehta took his chances once Chawla let go possible pots and fought his way back into the match to take the next six frames in a row and closed out the affair in just under four hours.

Playing his maiden national final, Chawla began confidently, as he kept earning small but crucial breaks to take the first two frames before allowing Mehta to claw his way back by committing errors.

The Railways cueist was on the go and had a clear pot in the centre of the table when he fluffed the pink that put Mehta back on to the table. This was the opening the holder was looking for and there was no stopping him there on.

A crucial break of 30-odd put Mehta ahead and he grabbed that opportunity to take the frame 72-49.

Again in the fourth frame, Chawla missed a simple red pot when he was on a break of 20-odd. Had Chawla potted it, the table would have got open for him to clear, but that chance landed in Mehta`s lap and he lapped it up.

With the frame score tied 2-2, it was Mehta, who showed better composure as he held his nerves well to edge ahead frame by frame before coming up with a break of 80 in the eighth and last frame, the best in the final.

Results (final): Aditya Mehta (PSPB) bt Kamal Chawla (Rlys) 6- 2-(60, 48-65, 72-49, 69-38, 80-9, 71-27, 67 (58)-1, 80 (80)-0).

For 3-4 position: Shahbaaz Adil Khan (PSPB) bt Brijesh Damani (Ben) 3-1 (33-61, 76-21, 94 (71)-7, 67-28).

5-8 placing matches: Lucky Vatnani (AP) bt Manan Chandra (PSPB) 2-0 (53 (42)-45, 67-23); Himanshu Jain (AP) bt Siddharth Parikh (Rlys) 2-0 (63 (40)-57, 64-24).

For 5-6 position: Himanshu Jain (AP) bt Lucky Vatnani (AP) 2-0 (65 (43)-56 (47), 60-4).

For 7-8 position: Manan Chandra (PSPB) bt Siddharth Parikh (Rlys) 2-1 (103 (103)-0, 33-66, 73(60)-24).

Final standings: 1. Aditya Mehta (PSPB), 2. Kamal Chawla (Rlys), 3. Shahbaaz Adil Khan (PSPB), 4. Brijesh Damani (Ben) 5. Himanshu Jain (AP), 6. Lucky Vatnani (AP), 7. Manan Chandra (PSPB), 8. Siddharth Parikh (Rlys).


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