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Merchant to meet Sethi in semis

June 29, 2007 22:18 IST

Billiards ace Geet Sethi and Asian Snooker runner-up Yasin Merchant set up an interesting semi-final clash at the Rs 2.5-lakh Nahar Group-MIG Club All India Invitation Snooker tournament with convincing semi-final victories in Mumbai on Friday.

Merchant, who was the losing finalist at the Asian Championship in Karachi earlier this month, showed the door to India number one Petroleum Sports' ace Alok Kumar 4-2 in a well-fought quarter-final clash.

Multiple-time world professional billiards champion Sethi (Gujarat) made short work of Sarang Shroff (Maharashtra) 4-0 to earn a meeting with Merchant on Saturday for a place in the final.

Merchant got off to a shaky start against Kumar by clinching the opening frame on the black. Kumar fired a 59 and 76 in the second to draw level before trailing his rival once again by dropping the third.

Kumar restored parity for the second time with another significant break of 62 in the fourth frame but later became error-prone to enable the two-time Asian champion to seal his fate by winning the fifth and sixth frames.

Shroff too had his chance against Sethi, but flunked the black from a difficult position, that was pounced on by his more fancied rival who went on to blank the local cueist.

Earlier, Brijesh Damani of Bengal made a surprise entry into the quarter-finals with a 3-0 whitewash of seasoned Devendra Joshi in the pre-quarter-final league.

Results: Quarter-finals: Geet Sethi (Guj) bt Sarang Shroff (Maha) 67-19, 81-79, 75-31, 82(53)-45; Yasin Merchant (Maha) bt Alok Kumar (PSPB) 52-46, 0-135(59,76), 77-34, 32-86 (62), 74-45, 57-43.

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