Railway cueist Shandilya endured a spectacular late challenge from Mohammed Mueen of Tamil Nadu after leading by a comfortable 3-0 margin. Shandilya’s vast experience came to the fore in the decider as he snatched a crucial lead with a significant break and took the match away.
Maharashtra senior snooker champion Badami also overcame a surprise challenge from PJ Hindu Gymkhana cueist Shyam Kotak before carving out a 4-3 win in another thriller. Kotak frittered away a 3-2 lead after earlier surging ahead 2-1 with a black ball finish in the third frame.
Manjot Singh of Punjab ended an exciting day of close encounters with another riveting 4-3 win over formidable V Raja Subramaniam of Matunga Gymkhana.