New Delhi: Former Asian Games gold-medallist and second seed, Rafath Habib showed his class when he beat Sachin Yadav in straight frames while third seed Divya Sharma suffered a shocking 2-3 defeat against Sharad Kumar in the RKG Snooker Masters North Zone championship, here today.
Chennai`s Habib, playing his first match in the championship, was on a roll, potting the ball all around the table skillfully to outclass Uttar Pradesh`s Sachin Yadav 3-0 at the Megapool Snooker Academy in Dwarka.
Habib hardly broke a sweat as he put it across his opponent with consummate ease to advance to the next round on the fifth day of the championship.
In the match between Divya and Sharad, both the cueists found going tough against each other.
Local-lad Sharad started with a bang as he virtually toyed with Haryana`s Divya before carving out a facile break of 67 in the opening frame. Divya put up an improved show in the second frame to win it 75-43.
With scores locked at 1-1, Sharad came up with a break of 52 in the third frame to surge ahead. However, Divya quickly made amends to his game and pocketed the fourth frame 64-25 to take the match to the decider.
Both the cueists enthralled the audience with their fine potting skills and never-say-die attitude.
In the end, it was Sharad who walked away with the honours as he held his nerve to emerge victorious 3-2.
Another Delhi veteran, Anuj Uppal registered a comfortable 3-1 win over Uttar Pradesh`s Mohammad Shahzeb to advance to the second round while Delhi`s Vijay Goel trounced statemate Jasmit Singh Amrit in straight frames.
In other matches of the day, Uttar Pradesh`s Vipin Premi put paid to the hopes of Delhi`s Amit Verma 3-0 and Punjab`s Sahil Nayyar outplayed Madhya Pradesh`s Priyank Jaiswal by an identical margin.
India's top cueists, including Sourav Kothari and Dhruv Sitwala, will be seen in action from tomorrow at the championship.
Apart from the duo, another notable cueists Sumit Talwar and Dharminder Lilly will look to reign supreme on the green baize at the Megapool Academy.
The event is a build-up to the RKG-Khar Gymkhana Snooker Masters 2013, India's biggest Pro-Am Snooker tournament, from May 6 to 13 in Mumbai. The prize money is the biggest offered in India at Rs 22 lakh.