Merchant posts highest break

Former Asian champion edges past Pakistans Asif to enter knockout stage

Merchant posts highest break

Yasin Merchant

Merchant, the former Asian and National champion, posted the 134 in the first frame against Pakistan’s Mohammed Asif who, despite a brave fight, could not stop the Indian from posting a 4-1 win in the concluding league match. Asif, with three wins, however, qualified for the knock-out rounds.

The century break notwithstanding, Merchant, the 42-year old from Mumbai, had to bring into play his vast experience to overcome the 27-year old Asif who is playing in his first World championship. The Pakistani had his chances, but missed a few sitters that proved costly. In the first frame, after Asif broke the bunch, Merchant began with a long red and went on to compile a century that hinged on the last two reds that were near the side cushion. He sliced the 14th red into the top corner pocket and then cleared the table.

Meanwhile, Advani raced to a 4-1 win against compatriot Sandeep Gulati to top his group with a clean record. In the women’s category, Vidya Pillai topped her group by winning all her five matches. Vidya outplayed Kathy Howden of Australia 3-0, while Chitra Magimairajan received a walk-over from Bahrain’s Nahla Sunni who went down with a stomach upset. In the Masters section, seven Indians, led by Sethi, qualified for the knock-out round.

Results: Men: Group A: Philip Williams (Wal) bt Daniel Thorp (Aus) 68-27, 62-51, 61-24, 71-35; Pankaj Advani (Ind) bt Sandeep Gulati (Ind) 98-0, 70-48, 66-15, 42-65, 77-41.
Group B: Habib Subah Habib (Brn) bt Shahbaz Khan (Ind) 17-52, 67-50, 84-39, 62-27, 55-29. Group C: Yasin Merchant (Ind) bt Muhammad Asif (Pak) 134-0, 23-58, 69-38, 64-16, 108-16. Group L: Alfie Burden (Eng) bt Rupesh Shah (Ind) 111-0, 62-32, 71-9, 78-01. Group M: Duncan Bezzina (Mlt) bt Dhruv Sitwala (Ind) 112-7, 87-12, 38-69, 103-0, 11-1.

Group N: Anthony Brabin (Cyp) bt Jean-Pierre Auzias (Fra) 55-31, 68-17, 15-89, 81-9, 53-2. Group P: Aditya Mehta (Ind) bt Balaji Reddy (Ind) 85-59, 75-16, 80-14, 77-37.
Group Q: Kamal Chawla (Ind) bt Suleman Salam (Swe) 76-21, 57-46, 41-71, 00-68, 77-00, 118-2. Group R: Chris Maltby (NZ) bt Emir Yigit (Tur) 66-19, 27-61, 78-32, 65-2, 60-9; Lin Tang Ho (HK) bt MS Arun (Ind) 64-22, 65-53, 41-57, 108-5, 67-77, 68-14.
Women: Group A: Kathy Parashis (Aus) bt Suniti Damani (Ind) 42-45, 57-64, 54-42, 61-10, 59-25.

Group B: Vidya Pillai (Ind) bt Kathy Howden (Aus) 50-45, 64-16, 63-33.
Group C: Meenal Thakur (Ind) bt Jeanne Young (SA) 62-23, 48-25, 62-21; Nicha Pathom Eakmongkhon (Tha) bt Neeta Sanghvi (Ind) 57-41, 86-25, 53-17.

Masters: Group A: SA Saleem (Ind) bt Petri Kopponen 44-33, 13-64, 76-24, 72-15; Dene O’Kane (NZ) bt Cheung Leung Sing (HK) 59-45, 57-24, 104-0; BVS Murthy (Ind) bt Prasanna Maddumage (SL) 64-52, 49-38, 68-15. Group B: Clive Thomson (NZ) bt Mostafa Aly (Egy) 58-44, 64-28, 43-34; Simon Zammit (Mlt) bt Abdul Mohsen Khamis (Qat) 78-32, 76-15, 71-23; Geet Sethi (Ind) bt Ayyoub Alsharrah (Kuw) 15-71, 68-29, 43-41, 83-7). Group C: Syed Habib (Ind) bt Naoki Matsuzaki (Jpn) 55-02, 80-45, 70-38. Group D: Noppadon Noppachorn (Tha) bt Andrey Vill (Rus) 88-10, 67-13, 72-26. Group E: Momen Elansary (Egy) bt Prabhakaran (Ind) 78-35, 73-21, 61-10; Chuchart Trairattanapradit (Tha) bt K Ranjan (Ind) 62-30, 71-27, 75-41. Group H: Jyri Virtanen (Fin) bt Stevie Baillie (Sco) 48-56, 91-28, 57-46, 84-1; Munier Cassim (SA) bt Nadeem Ahmed (Ind) 73-15, 66-15, 22-51, 74-32.

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