Manan to face Brijesh in title round

Manan Chandra unleased a sizzling performance, swatting aside five-time champion Alok Kumar in ruthless fashion in the semifinal of the 80th National Snooker Championship here on Friday.

Chandra, a 2006 champion, was on song right from the very first shot and he never allowed the momentum to dip, scoring a thumping 5-0 win over fellow PSPB colleague at the Jiwaji University hall.

In the final on Saturday, Chandra will lock horns with Brijesh Damani, who defeated Vijay Nichani 5-2 in the second semifinal.

In the women’s snooker quarterfinal, former winner Vidya Pillai slammed the door on defending champion Chitra Magimairaj with a crushing 3-0 win. Talented Keerath Bhandal, who has picked three titles in the ongoing Nationals, defeated Arantxa Sanchis 3-2 to set up a semifinal date with Vidya.

Newly-crowned billiards champion R Umadevi Nagaraj tumbled out following a hard-fought 2-3 loss to Neena Praveen while Heena Khandelwal beat the seasoned Meenal Thakur 3-1 in the other two last-eight matches respectively.

Results: Men: Snooker, semifinals: Manan Chandra (PSPB) bt Alok Kumar (PSPB) 5-0 (62-47, 64-31, 63-19, 61-38, 65-61); Brijesh Damani (PSPB) bt Vijay Nichani (TN) 5-2 (22-61, 62-43, 67-34, 33-64, 68-27, 94 (42)-15, 53-12).

Quarterfinals: Chandra bt Shivam Arora (Bih) 5-4 (78-32, 70-20, 31-71, 34-69 (59), 84-14, 40-71, 62 (41)-2, 6-73 (43), 74-67); Alok bt Dharminder Lilly (Pun) 5-2 (70 (42)-13, 54-43, 6-86 (41), 60-33, 28-61, 63-55, 79 (52)-18); Nichani bt Amir Hussain (WB) 5-3 (49-64, 63-52, 34-59, 48-59, 71-18, 65-24, 42-30, 59-10); Damani bt Shahbaaz Adil Khan (PSPB) 5-2 (66-31, 9-75 (63), 74 (44)-1, 71-26, 57-45, 17-82, 59-47).

Women: Snooker, quarterfinals: Vidya Pillai (Kar) bt Chitra Magimairaj 3-0 (40-31, 56-37, 47-45); Keerath Bhandaal (Del) bt Arantxa Sanchis (Mah) 3-2 (35-43, 48-35, 31-63, 61-54, 77-47); Neena Praveen (TN) bt R Umadevi Nagaraj (Kar) 3-2 (36-40, 64-24, 65-62, 11-49, 56-24); Heena Khandelwal (Mah) bt Meenal Thakur (Mah) 3-1 (45-73, 46-17, 37-6, 58-26).

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