Sixteen-time world champion Pankaj Advani and reigning national champion Aditya Mehta had facile outings on the first day of the 3rd Kolkata Open national invitation snooker championship at the Bengal Rowing Club here on Wednesday.
The major upset of the day was Dharminder Lilly, the current world champion (Masters), biting the dust against Laxman Rawat. Kolkata boy and Arjuna award winner Sourav Kothari was stretched to six games before finally prevailing over the reigning West Bengal state champion Benay Agarwal.
Playing against Lilly, Delhi cueist Rawat won the first three games in no time before the current world champion (Masters) staged a comeback with a 62-8 win. But he could not sustain the momentum, losing 47-49 to hand a 4-1 win to Rawat.
Advani and Mehta won their matches with identical scores of 4-0 over Sreevardhar Poddar and Benay Agarwal respectively.
Mehta, the country’s only professional snooker player, notched up the day’s biggest break of 102 in the third game.
The current India No.2 in billiards, Sidharth Parikh, won a see-saw battle with Sandeep Gulati that went the full distance of seven games.
Gulati won the first two games even as Parikh drew level in the next two. Gulati and Parikh won the next two games respectively. It was only in the last game that Parikh managed to pull ahead 59-17, to seal the tie.