Qualifier Gulati shocks Merchant to enter semis

Mumbai: Qualifier Sandeep Gulati upset former Asian champion Yasin Merchant while Faisal Khan shut out national number 2 Lucky Vatnani to enter the semi-finals of the Ekta World Shyam Shroff Memorial All India Open Invitation snooker tournament at the Khar Gymkhana here on Friday.

Delhi cueist Gulati recovered brilliantly after dropping the first two frames against local ace Merchant, a member of the silver medal winning team in the Guangzhou Asian Games, to take the next five for a 5-2 victory in the quarter-final clash.

Gulati, who won 43-70, 25-73, 59-16, 59-52, 65-36, 49-35, 28-7, set up a clash in the semis against former junior national champion Shabaz Khan of Bharat Petroleum, also a qualifier, who ousted seasoned Rafath Habib of Railways 5-2 in another quarter-final.

Hyderabad`s Vatnani was beaten 1-5 by Faisal Khan of Railways who will meet title favourite Aditya Mehta of Indian Oil, who won the individual snooker bronze and a team silver in Guangzhou, for a place in Saturday`s final. Mehta got past I H Manudev of Karnataka 5-1.


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