Arora, Arantxa make it a special Sunday
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National billiards champion Arantxa Sanchis of Pune and Bihar's Shivam Arora registered thrilling victories to emerge champions in the P J Hindu Gymkhana National 6-Red Snooker Championship co-hosted by Elphinstone Cricket Club.
In an impressive exhibition of potting by both cueists, Sanchis rallied from 0-2 and 3-4 to romp to a pulsating 12-25, 21-46, 69-39, 51-30, 33-12, 23-31, 20-29, 30-20, 42-35 win over former national snooker champion Anuja Thakur-Chandra of Bharat Petroleum that ended in a nail-biting black ball tie. This after they were level at 35-all in the decider of the best-of-nine frames women's final.
True to her reputation, the Delhi-based Thakur-Chandra surged to an early 2-0 cushion before Sanchis recovered to take a 3-2 lead to emphasise that she was going to be no pushover. Her seasoned opponent then utilized her vast experience to snatch the sixth and seventh frames for a 4-3 lead that led to a riveting eighth frame that Sanchis snatched on the pink while surviving a tantalizing in-off.
Potting brilliantly all along, she then romped to a vital 35-12 lead in the decider. Thakur-Chandra though held her nerves to pot the pink and black to tie the score before Sanchis returned to pot the black in the centre off the cushion to take the frame and match away. Not to forget the title.
Meanwhile, Arora earned himself his first major title and gave his adopted state Bihar its first ever crown in billiards and snooker with an exciting 30-7, 25-26, 37-0, 42-17, 25-31, 20-30, 29-15, 12-41, 39-33, 31-23, 31-21 win over Maharashtra snooker champion Hasan Badami.
Trailing 1-3, Badami restored parity and made it 4-all in a spectacular comeback. Arora went up 5-4 before Badami had another chance to draw level in the 10th frame with a clearance of the colours. But to his dismay his fortunes changed when he missed a simple black after potting the last red. That would prove to be the final straw as Arora returned to win the frame and fired a break of 31 in the 11th to seal the issue.
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