Mumbai youngsters Rahul Sachdev and Himanshu Jain scored impressive victories to storm into the quarter-final of the Indian Open snooker qualifying tournament at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) billiards hall here Friday.
The 22-year-old Sachdev inflicted a humiliating 4-0 defeat on seasoned campaigner Manav Panchal, also from Mumbai, in a lopsided pre-quarter final. Sachdev potted more accurately as compared to his senior opponent to run away with the match.
On the adjacent table, 23-year-old Jain was on a roll and did not encounter much resistance from 19-year-old city mate Nikhil Saigal as he went on to record an identical 4-0 victory in another last 16 tie. The flamboyant Jain breezed to 60-51, 68-33, 51-40, 71-14 win with a degree of comfort.
Sachdev started with a flourish by compiling a neat run of 64 in the opening frame. His break came to a close when he missed a difficult blue to the bottom pocket.
However, he continued to play steadily and with a break of 34, pocketed the second and made a couple of small efforts to clinch the third to open up a sizeable 3-0 lead. With not much of a fightback from Panchal, the left-handed Sachdev signed off with a run of 39 in the fourth frame to complete a deserving 72-14, 60-19, 69-23, 68-13 victory.
The youngster is a win away from booking a berth in the final qualifying round to be played in Pune next week. He awaits the winner of the contest between Hasan Badami and Sunil Jain. However, he will have to sharpen his game and improve on his consistency if he hopes for a chance of earning a wild card for the Indian Open to be played here early next year.
Siddharth Parikh of Railways and Vipin Premi of Uttar Pradesh also won their respective pre-quarter finals comfortably to set up an intriguing quarter-final for Saturday.
Parikh demolished Gaurav Jaisinghania 4-0 (55-42, 84-42, 60-08, 66-33) and Premi tamed Gujarat’s Narsidani Johnson 4-1 (55-45, 51-34, 58-59, 52-08, 59-23).
Pre-quarter final results: Siddharth Parikh beat Gaurav Jaisinghania 4-0 (55-42, 84-42, 60-08, 66-33); Vipin Premi beat Narsidani Johnson 4-1 (55-45, 51-34, 58-59, 52-08, 59-23); Himanshu Jain beat Nikhil Saigal 4-0 (60-51, 68-33, 51-40, 71-14); Rahul Sachdev beat Manav Panchal 4-0 (72(64)-14, 60-19, 69-23, 68(39)-13).