Kothari clinches All India Snooker title

Sourav Kothari of ONGC overcame India junior No.1 Laxman Rawat of Delhi 6-2 to win the Shyam Shroff Memorial All India Open Invitation Snooker Tournament title, sponsored by United Phosphorus, at the Khar Gymkhana Saturday.

Kothari romped to a 83-33, 66-17, 76-1, 31-88, 96-8, 113-8, 56-58, 56-55 victory as he snatched his second title in four championship rounds, after earlier defeating double Asian champion Yasin Merchant in the Bombay Gymkhana ‘Strokes’ Invitational final in April.

Kothari enhanced his reputation with this victory as he fired breaks of 75 in the third frame, 54 in the fifth and a 65 in the sixth reflecting consistency and impressive potting skills.

Kothari raced to a 5-1 lead in the best-of-11 frames final with Rawat winning the third frame with a break of 62. Rawat snatched the crucial seventh frame in a tight finish that raised hopes of a late fightback. Trailing 0-39 in the frame Rawat fired a significant break of 46 before falling behind at 51-56 that included a long blue pot.

Rawat once again raised visions of changing the script when he almost snatched the eighth frame. But he missed the black that rested a little away from the top cushion and rattled the top right jaw. Trailing 49-55, Kothari sensed victory immediately to deny Rawat his maiden major championship crown.

Final result: Sourav Kothari (ONGC) bt Laxman Rawat (ONGC) 83-33, 66-17, 76(75)-1, 31-88(62), 96(54)-8, 113(65)-8, 56-58(46), 56-55.

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