Kolkata: Marquee players Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehta had easy outings on the first day of the 3rd Kolkata Open National Invitation Snooker Championship 2017 organised by the West Bengal Billiards Association at the Bengal Rowing Club, even as Dharminder Lilly, the current World Champion (Masters) bit the dust against Laxman Rawat. Kolkata boy and Arjuna Awardee Sourav Kothari was stretched to six games before finally prevailing over the reigning West Bengal State Champion Benay Agarwal.
Playing against Dharminder Lilly, Delhi cueist Laxman Rawat quickly won the first three games before the current World Champion (Masters) staged a comeback with a 08-62 win, but could not sustain the momentum,losing 49-47 to hand a 4-1 win to Rawat.
Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehta won their matches with identical scores of 4-0 over Sreevardhar Poddar and Benay Agarwal respectively. Aditya Mehta, the country’s only professional snooker player and the current National Snooker Champion, notched up the day’s biggest break of 102 in the third game.
The current India No. 2 in billiards, Sidharth Parikh, won a see-saw battle with SandeepGulati that went the full distance of seven games. Gulati won the first two games even as Parikh drew level in the next two. Gulati and Parikh won the next two games respectively. It was only in the last game that Parikh managed to pull ahead 59-17, to seal the tie.