BSAM Billiards League 2019: Rovin shines in Hindu Gym triumph; Sunil Jain’s fighting effort in vain

D’Souza’s win by 108 points difference and Kotwani’s win by 17 points cut Elphinstone’s advantage to just 40 points and setting them a target of 160 points to win the third frame and the title

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P.J. Hindu Gymkhana cueist Rovin D’Souza who displayed a steady consistent showing and Elphinstone Cricket Club’s Sunil Jain who came up with solid determined fighting effort were the star performers of the day, but the former finished on the winning side as his team PJHG ‘Probables’  (combined team handicap -95 ) managed to get the better of ECC ‘Elfies Stars’ (handicap +75) 505-486 in an exciting final of the CCI Kekoo Nicholson BSAM Billiards League 2019, organized by the Billiards & Snooker Association of Maharashtra and played at the CCI’s Sir Wilson Jones billiards room, late on Sunday evening.

The summit clash between two former champions turned out to be a closely contested affair. Elphinstone Club went into the match with an overall 165 points advantage, but Hindu Gymkhana’s Hitesh Kotwani and in particular D’Souza chipped away at their advantage and reduced it to just 40 points to give their team a winning chance. Hindu Gymkhana skipper Siddharth Parikh, the fifth-ranked Indian, lived up to his and the team’s expectations as he completed the formalities, but not before going through a few anxious moments.

Elphinstone’s talented youngster Rayaan Razmi (scratch handicap) played to his potential and did well to keep pace with his more experienced opponent Kotwani (-40) in the opening frame as the scores ran close and changed hand a couple of times. But, the seasoned Kotwani managed two late efforts of 39 and 26 to record a narrow 200-183 win. He had earlier compiled 47 runs, while Rayaan had notable breaks of 41 and 26 to stay in the fight.

Later, D’Souza (+15) who has been in impressive form was cool and composed and dished out another stellar performance against Cyrus Mistry (+45). He confidently went for his shots and consistently produced decent breaks to accumulate the points and gain complete control before cruising towards a 200-92 win in the second frame.

D’Souza’s win by 108 points difference and Kotwani’s win by 17 points cut Elphinstone’s advantage to just 40 points and setting them a target of 160 points to win the third frame and the title.

In the third frame, the former World Championship bronze medal winner Parikh (-70) had to score 200 points while his rival Sunil Jain (+25) had to get only160 points. But, Parikh an accomplished billiards pro stamped his class and authority as he neatly rolled in a substantial break of 68 and with a couple of other tidy efforts he established a sizeable 148-8 lead and then extended it to 192-41 and within the distance of reaching 200 points.

But, Jain not the type to throw in the towel without offering a fight came back strongly and with a well-constructed effort of 52 and another superb run of 37 closed the gap to make it an exciting finish as he was just 19 points away from titling the contest in favour of his team. However, lady luck smiled on Parikh who was doubled balked but managed to fluke a red in-off and then scored the remaining points to clinch a tense victory and heave a sigh of relief.

Hindu Gymkhana team received the winners’ trophy and a cheque of Rs 60,000, while Elphinstone CC team received the runners-up trophy and a cheque of Rs 30,000. The losing semi-finalists Shivaji Park Gymkhana and Central Railway Mechanical Institute received an award of Rs 15,000 each, while the losing quarter-finalists got Rs 7,500 each. Sunil Jain for his valiant efforts received a special prize of Rs 5,000 presented by the CCI Billiards Committee.

Results

Final: PJHG ‘Probables’ (-95) beat ECC ‘Elfies Stars’ (+70) 505-486 (Hitesh Kotwani (-40) beat Rayaan Razmi (Scr) 200-183; Rovin D’Souza (+15) beat Cyrus Mistry (+45) 200-92; Siddharth Parikh (-70) beat Sunil Jain (+25) 200-141).

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