Sunday, Dec 22, 2002
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Billiards & Snooker
By Kirti Patil
Meenal started with the victory against Tamil Nadu's Kamala C. Badu and then blanked Neeta Kothari of Bengal. Later in the evening, though Meenal found the going tough, she rallied brilliantly and upstaged Jagruti Patel of Maharashtra 29-37, 76-26, 51-23, in Group `C'.
Last year's runner-up, R. Uma Devi of Karnataka, looked rusty. After having lost the billiards final to Anuja Thakur on Friday, Uma seemed to be struggling with her potting. Nonetheless, she registered two hard-fought wins, against Neetu Bali of Jammu and Kashmir, and Sangeeta Hemchand of Maharashtra.
Uma made some silly mistakes and that unnecessarily stretched her match against Neetu, who used snooked the cue ball quite a few times to her advantage. Uma wriggled out of the situation and posted 55-18, 45-30 win. Against Sangeeta, Uma was sluggish at the start but recovered in time. After taking the first frame 61-48, Uma swept past in the second with a 63-7 verdict.
Playing with an upright attitude, M. Chitra of Karnataka went for the pots rather than the snooks, which is more common in the women's game. The positive approach fetched her two quick wins in the league stage, and also the highest break so far in the tournament.
Playing against Shreya Kothari of Bengal, Chitra made a break of 39 in the first frame and then followed it up with a 25, cleaning the five colour balls at one go.
Chitra, semifinalist at the last Nationals in Ahmedabad, won 92-22, 82-20 in under an hour in Group `B'. In her first match in the morning, Chitra defeated Ashwini Puranik of Madhya Pradesh 59-20, 51-47.
Elsewhere, the newly-crowned billiards champion, Anuja Thakur, showed her fine touch with snooker also. Anuja thrashed T.V. Sridevi of Karnataka 66-24, 97-9, making breaks of 28 in the first frame and 37 in the second, in Group `D'.
In the second match, against Geetika Kathuria of Haryana, she was even more impressive. Though she had just one worthwhile break, of 19 points, Anuja raced to 76-15, 61-14 win in under an hour.
Women's Group A: R. Uma Devi (Kar) bt Neetu Bali (J and K) 55-18, 45-30; Vidya Pillai (TN) bt Sangeeta Hemchand (Mah) 63-24, 70-33; Neetu w/o Ayesha Aga (Mah); Sangeeta w/o Ayesha; Uma Devi bt Sangeeta 61-48, 63-7; Vidya bt Neetu 48-24, 18-40, 66-14.
Group B: M. Chitra (Kar) bt Ashwini Puranik (MP) 59-20, 51-47; Neeta Sanghvi (MP) w/o Ragini Singh (J and K); Neelam Mittal (MP) bt Shreya Kothari (Ben) 60-27, 87-31; Ashwini w/o Ragini; Chitra bt Shreya 92-22, 82-20; Neeta bt Neelam 54-12, 58-47; Ashwini bt Shreya 78-14, 56-26.
Group C: Meenal Thakur (Mah) bt Kamala C. Babu (TN) 52-32, 74-43; Ritu Srivastava (MP) bt Neeta Kothari (Ben) 50-37, 30-46, 63-32; Soumini Sriniwas (TN) bt Jagruti Patel (Mah) 58-66, 68-33, 59-50; Meenal bt Neeta 62-10, 46-22; Jagruti bt Kamala 47-23, 66-45; Meenal bt Jagruti 29-37, 76-26, 51-23; Soumini bt Ritu 32-56, 63-30, 51-47.
Group D: Anuja Thakur (Mah) bt T. V. Sridevi (Kar) 66-24, 97-9; Heena Khandelwal (Mah) bt Seema Desai (Ben) 44-17, 48-38; Sridevi bt Seema 81-26, 81-31; Anuja bt Geetika Kathuria (Har) 76-15, 61-14.
Junior men qualifying:
Billiards: First round: Rohit Sharma (U.P.) bt Nihal Wadhawa (Kar) 380-329.
Snooker: First round: Vishal Aggarwal (AP) bt Sunil Gupta (J and K) 69-13, 70-31, 53-39; Rohit Sharma (U.P.) bt Kartik Murugeshan (TN) 73-16, 25-42, 56-25, 68-17; Kaushal Agarwal (Kar) bt Nikhil Kapahi (J and K) 49-38, 22-67, 59-31, 53-24; Tamil Nambi (TN) bt A. Ahmed (J and K) 32-65, 50-41, 60-25, 54-32; Sunny Chaddha (Del) bt Ranjan Gupta (U.P.) 53-16, 64-33, 65-55; R. Karthik (TN) bt Pankaj Devgan (MP) 52-22, 67-11, 40-65, 90-27; Younis Kuchey (J and K) bt H. Prabhat (Kar) 66-4, 55-17, 46-56, 74-72; Akshay Gohad (Mah) bt Nihal Wadhawa (Kar) 56-39, 62-15, 68-13; Ravikant (U.P.) bt Subrat Das (Ori) 48-8, 61-38, 71-28.
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