Mumbai: India's number five Faisal Khan shocked title favourite Aditya Mehta 4-2 to storm into the semi-finals of the CCI Classic tournament here today.
Khan produced the most significant win of his fledgling career and the tournament's biggest upset by edging out snooker professional Mehta in an exciting best-of-seven-frame quarter-final. Khan raced to a 2-0 lead that included a break of 63 in the second frame.
But Mehta stormed back to draw level with a 51 break in the third and 80 in the fourth. Khan regained the lead with a break of 41 in the fifth frame and trailed by 56 points in the crucial but eventful sixth frame.
Mehta, who missed the yellow, forfeited 54 precious points via the foul-and-miss that eventually gave Khan a slender four-point advantage. With only the blue, pink and black remaining, Mehta missed the blue placed at the mouth of the pocket.
Khan returned to pot the colour with a long cannon before ending Mehta's campaign on the black. "It is my first tournament after my return from the pro tour and I feel I played well.
I should have sealed the sixth frame but I missed the yellow and made silly mistakes," said a disappointed Mehta, who now heads to Wales for the Wuxi Classic qualifiers. "I needed just one good visit to get back into the match. I would have loved to have won this title as it would have surely boosted my confidence in Wales," he added.
"The early lead made my life easy," said a delighted Khan who will take on Pushpender Singh of Delhi in the semis. "While Aditya made quite a few mistakes, I capitalised on my chances. It was not an easy win though. He made it really tough for me."
The remaining three quarter-finals went down to the wire. While Sourav Kothari rallied from 0-2 to beat Rupesh Shah, and Pushpender Singh rallied from 1-2 to prevail over Himanshu Jain of Andhra Pradesh, India No. 2 Kamal Chawla recovered from a 1-3 deficit to halt India No. 4 Dharmender Lily of Punjab.