Mumbai: Former world professional No.7 Nalin Patel fired two impressive century breaks for an explosive start to the inaugural Videocon Billiards Premier League, organised by the Billiards and Snooker Association of Maharashtra, at the Bombay Gymkhana on Sunday.
Tigers captain Patel kicked off his team`s campaign with a delightful break of 115 against Prashant Mhatre of SP Young Guns, who later rallied to a 3-1 lead to ensure a win, before Patel, playing with a handicap of -175, hit 116 against Kishore Laungani in the fifth and final tie. SP Young Guns earned four points, while Tigers earned two.
Patel`s effort lit up an opening day of one-sided encounters as MB`s Shooters were the only team to win all their five ties that earned them a maximum eight points including two bonus points for a clean sweep against Scorpions.
Playing with a handicap of -20, Kirit Rayani gave MB`s Shooters just the start they needed when he rallied from a 40-point deficit with a crucial break of 31 to beat Loukic Pathare in the 100-up opener.
It was MB`s Shooters all the way but not before they endured come-from-behind wins in the exciting doubles and final singles ties.
Scorpions pair Farhad Tengra and Philip Daniel frittered away a winning opportunity in the second tie when they needed just three points before Amit Sapru and Shekhar Krishnan, needing 15 points, changed the script.
Tengra potted the white to remain one point away from a win before he double baulked Sapru, who sneaked out with a side-cushion cannon that paved the way for an unfinished break of 15.
World team silver medallist Dhruv Sitwala returned from Glasgow to beat Aditya Agrawal for 3-0, while Vishal Madan hit a break of 69 to prevail over Sanjiv Bijlani to make it 4-0. Trailing by 40 points in the decider, Sitwala also sneaked past Tengra.
Needing 19 points, Tengra double baulked Sitwala who returned to pot the red from the cushion and went on to fire a decisive unfinished break of 61 with a slew of brilliant shots to leave Tengra stranded.
In other ties, SK`s Kannon Kings beat SPG Billiards Punters 3-2, while WJ Genii and RRockets registered identical 4-1 wins.
Results: MB`s Shooters bt Scorpionas 5-0; Tigers bt SP Young Guns 3-2; SK`s Kannon Kings bt SPG Billiards Punters 3-2; WJ Genii bt Race for Gold, The Team 4-1; RRockets bt RK`s 7, The Rakish Kings 4-1.