Chennai’s Srikrishna pots past Maha’s Pherwani in junior national snooker semis

Srikrishna will face Digvijay Kadian of Haryana who had a field day after winning back-to-back matches to make it to the final.
Sparsh Pherwani waits for Srikrishna Suryanarayan’s next move at national snooker and billiards championship at PYC Hindu Gymkhana on Wednesday.(RAHUL RAUT/HT)
Sparsh Pherwani waits for Srikrishna Suryanarayan’s next move at national snooker and billiards championship at PYC Hindu Gymkhana on Wednesday.(RAHUL RAUT/HT)
Updated on Jan 23, 2020 04:56 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Pune | ByOumar Aga

PUNE In an exciting junior snooker semifinal, Sparsh Pherwani, representing Maharashtra, bowed out of the National Billiards and Snooker Championship at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana, losing to Chennai’s Shrikrishna Suryanarayan in a best of seven encounter on Wednesday. The game got off to a very slow start and the competitors were on level terms till the fourth frame. Srikrishna switched his strategy at the end of the fourth frame and it reaped the desired reward as he won 4-2.

Frame 1 - Foul and miss affair

Srikrishna propelled himself into an early lead as he registered 17 points in the opening stages as Pherwani only managed to pot one red. Playing a very conservative game, Srikrishna did attempt a few tricky shots, one of which was a sublime rebound to pocket the red.

A series of fouls and misses followed. Both players gifted each other plenty of points off fouls, as Srikrishna made some easy pots to take a 47-17 lead. Eventually, Srikrishna cleared the baize and won the first frame 63-24.

Frame 2 - Frustrating misses

After the commencement of the second frame, Srikrishna’s stun shot to pot a red saw the ball bounce off both pocket cushions and sit at the mouth of the corner pocket. Pherwani bounced back and relied on his opponent’s failed shots to make easy pots. However, the tables turned midway after Pherwani missed an easy potting opportunity. Pherwani took the second frame 52-54.

Frame 3 - mini breaks

Srikrishna started the third frame on the front foot, potting the red and then the brown in a fluke stroke. The frame was full of mini-breaks for both. Srikrishna started off with a 26-point break, while Pherwani responded with a 25-point break. Pherwani then snookered Srikrishna. Srikrishna gifted more points to Pherwani when he attempted a tricky rebound and ended up with an in-off. Srikrishna was subject to another foul and miss before he had a mini-break of 20 points. However, the mini-break was not enough for him to pull level as Pherwani completed his comeback to win 67-78.

Frame 4 - the comeback

Both competitors were left frustrated yet again in the fourth frame when the reds came bouncing off pocket cushions on several occasions. After 12 strokes which did not yield a single point, Srikrishna finally broke the deadlock after potting the first red. Srikrishna managed to stay at the head of the table as he cleared all the reds off the baize, barring one as he registered his first proper break of the game. After making 28 successive pots, the teenager finally scuffed a shot on the last red on the table as he ended the second frame with a score of 83 points while Pherwani failed to get off the mark in the fourth frame as parity was reinstated.

Frame 5 - switching strategies

After drawing level and registering his first break of 83 points, Srikrishna switched his strategy from conservative to offensive. Srikrishna started off with a small break of 30 points which gave him a comfortable lead. A mini-break of 29 points for Pherwani was eventually nullified by Srikrishna who also added 29 points to his tally. Superb potting after clearing the reds, by Srikrishna added 20 more points to his tally as he won the fifth frame 88-29.

Frame 6 - decimating decider

)ne frame away from victory, Srikrishna did not ease off. Starting with a long distant stun shot, he potted the first red of the game and eventually ended up registering a superb break of 66 points. In retaliation, a dismayed Pherwani could only earn three points. Srikrishna registered another break of 59 points to cross the 100-point mark. The 19-year-old took the sixth frame with a score of 125-3 and confirmed his presence in the final of the Junior Snooker category, which will be on Thursday.

After the match

“It was extremely intense, especially in the first four frames. Playing against a player like Sparsh is always tricky considering the experience and exposure he has. After the fourth frame, I decided to switch my strategy. I had a very good chance and I pounced on the opportunity. I switched from conservative to offensive at the perfect moment and it paid off,” said Srikrishna Suryanarayan, National Junior Snooker finalist, Chennai

Haryana’s Kadian to faces Srikrishna in final

Digvijay Kadian of Haryana had a field day after winning back to back matches to make it to the final of the Junior Snooker event. After winning the quarterfinal round against Aadesh Kothari of Tamil Nadu in straight frames, Kadian cruised into the semi-final round to take on Aman Bansod of Madhya Pradesh.

Kadian defeated Kothari with a 3-0 (65-22, 68(62)-24, 69-34) score line. In the semis, Kadian defeated Aman Bansod 4-0 (82-23, 107(107)-15, 69-43, 61-29) in the best of seven frames encounter.

Kadian will now face Chennai’s Shrikrishna in the final on Thursday.

Results: Senior Billiards

Final qualifying

Mahesh Jagdale (Maharashtra) bt Shahyan Razmi (Maharashtra) 3-2 (100(57)-62, 100-52, 88-100, 88-100, 100-84)

Shekhar Surve (RSPB) bt Aadesh Kothari (Tamil Nadu) 3-1 (102-37, 80-100, 102-96, 100-33)

Rishab Kumar (Maharashtra) bt Vijay Nichani (Tamil Nadu) 3-1 (20-101(74), 101-86, 100(92)-98(98), 100-51

Durga Prasad (RSPB) bt L Nagraj (Karnataka) 3-0 (100-36, 100-11, 100(50)-25)

Ashutosh Padhy (Odisha) bt Sandeep Singh Yadav (Madhya Pradesh) 3-0 (101-13, 100-73, 101-40)

Rovin D’souza (RSPB) bt Rajwardhan Joshi (Maharashtra) 3-0 (101(50)-70, 100(48)-85, 100-93(40)

Chandu Kasodaria (Maharashtra) bt Govind Raj Reddy (RSPB) 3-1 (51-102, 100-84, 100-72, 100-74)

Varun Kumar(Tamil Nadu) bt Shivam Arora (Maharashtra) 3-2 (101-40, 45-100, 102-87, 69-101, 100-93)

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