NSCI Snooker Open: Yasin Merchant, Ishpreet, Kreishh record easy first-round wins

Mumbai, Jan 9 (IANS) Seasoned campaigner Yasin Merchant of Mumbai showed the class of yore and charged past Asutosh Padhy of Odisha coasting to a 4-1 (77-20, 69-47, 0-91, 65-40, and 75-68) victory in a Round of 64 best-of-7-frame match of the National Sports Club of India (NSCI) All India Snooker Open 2023.
Meanwhile, Yasin’s prodigies Ishpreet Singh Chadha and Kreishh Gurbaxani, both from Mumbai also comfortably won their respective matches to advance to the Round of 32 in the Rs 13 lakh prize-money event at the NSCI billiards hall here on Monday.
Former National champion and current India No. 3 Ishpreet defeated compatriot Rishabh Kumar coasting to a quick straight frame 4-0 (62-39, 90-39, 104(91)-0, 83-12). Ishpreet was in complete control and constructed a break of 91 in the third frame.
Kreishh, a former sub-junior National champion who had won both the snooker and billiards champion in 2020, was in rocking form and compiled a massive 103 points break in the second frame and went on to send seasoned Railway cueist Rafat Habib (Rly) crashing to 4-1 (12-71, 103-29, 71-13, 73-43, 84-12) victory.
The two-time Asian snooker champion Yasin Merchant quickly settled down and potted steadily and although he failed to construct a sizeable break, he still managed to comfortably cross the finish line to secure a place in the next round.
In contrast, the younger Odisha cueist Asutosh seemed overawed by his opponent’s fine touch and was unable to cash in on the many chances and except for a neat break of 83 in the third frame which he won, he played way below par.
Results – Round of 64: Yasin Merchant (Mum) beat Asutosh Padhy (Odi) 4-1 (77-20, 69-47, 0-91(83), 65-40, 75-68); Ishpreet Singh Chadha (Mum) beat Rishabh Kumar (Mum) 4-0 (62-39, 90-39, 104(91)-0, 83-12); Kreishh Gurbaxani (Mum) beat Rafat Habib (Rly) 4-1 (12-71, 103(103)-29, 71-13, 73-43, 84-12); Paras Gupta beat Aashit Pandiya (Mum) 4-2 (28-101(96*), 30-61(53), 72-21, 68-57, 78-40, 76-22); Nitesh Madan (Rly) beat Abhishek Bajaj (Mum) 4-0 (80-32, 105-21, 70-56, 57-45); Shahbaz Khan (Mum) beat Amanullah Shaikh (AP) 4-3 (65-15, 103(52)-0, 19-67, 40-71, 34-59, 81-13, 70-51); Jaison Malhotra beat Faisal Khan (Rly) 4-1 (29-77, 65-43, 92(92)-2, 61(54)-24, 56-28).

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