Third Master’s National Snooker Championship 2019: Rafat Habib stuns reigning champion Alok Kumar to enter semis

Accordingly, now Habib will meet Maharashtra's Cherag Ramakrishnan in the semi-final. On the other hand, Geet Sethi will meet Anuj Uppal in the smeis


Rafat Habib of Railways sent defending champion Alok Kumar of ONGC crashing out by recording a stunning 4-2 victory in the best-of-7 frame quarter-final match of the MIG Cricket Club organized third Master’s National Snooker Championship – 2019, and played at the MIG Club billiards hall on Wednesday. The event is being organised under the aegis of BSFI and BSAM.

The Railway cueist was steady and compiled a break of 61 in third as he cruised to 31-59, 64-27, 66-19, 49-55, 63-29 and 60-17 victory.

Habib will meet Maharashtra Cherag Ramakrishnan in the semi-final. Ramakrishnan enjoyed a good run against his statemate and arch-rival Sarang Shroff and went on to carve out a 4-2 victory.

Earlier, cue sports legend Geet Sethi of Gujarat and Delhi challenger Anuj Uppal took different routes to set up a clash in the other semi-final. The former National snooker champion Sethi maintained the winning momentum and eased past Karnataka’s D. Rajkumar posting a 4-1 victory.

On the side table, Uppal got the better of ONGC’s Dhruv Sitwala 4-3 in a match that went to the wire.

Later, in the other two quarter-finals, defending champion Alok Kumar (ONGC) went down to former Asian Games Gold medalist Rafat Habib (Railways) 2-4, while Cherag Ramakrishnan defeated Sarag Shroff 4-2 in an all-Maharashtra contest.

Sethi, as usual, started positively and called the shots against the left-handed Karnataka cueist and quickly pocketed the first two frames. Rajkumar who was unable to capitalize on the chances initially, finally came good and won the second frame to cut the deficit. But, Sethi,  winner of multiple World billiards championship titles, stamped his class with a neat run of 61 to take the fourth before going on to win the fifth to complete a 56-17, 54-30, 09-58, 71-24 and 63-16 win.

The Delhi Uppal cueist did not waste much time to get into a rhythm and with a break of 65 in the second he raced to a 3-0 lead. But, the left-handed Mumbai-based Sitwala made a strong reply and with a 93 break he won the next three frames to draw level. In the decider, Uppal showed better consistency with the pots to pocket the frame and wrap up the in his favour with the frame scores reading 60-18, 80-05, 85-27, 51-61, 00-93, 70-78 and 72-21.

Results (quarter-finals):

Geet Sethi (GUJ) beat D. Rajkumar (KTK) 4-1 (56-17, 54-30, 09-58, 71(61)-24, 63-16);

Anuj Uppal (DEL) beat Dhruv Sitwala (PSPB) 4-3 (60-18, 80(65)-05, 85-27, 51-61, 00-93(93), 70-78, 72-21).

Cherag Ramakrishnan (MH) beat Sarang Shroff (MH) 4-2 (77-71, 79(52)-08, 73(62)-00, 00-73, 37-65, 60-13);

Rafath Habib (RLY) beat Alok Kumar (PSPB) 4-2 (31-59, 64-27, 66(61)-19, 49-55, 63-29, 60-17).

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