Brijesh Damani of Indian Oil emerged triumphant defeating Sourav Kothari of ONGC by a stunning 7-1 margin in a best-of-13 frame final of the Rs 12.25 lakh prize-money CCI All India Open Snooker Championship 2018, and played at the CCI’s Wilson Jones Billiards Room on Sunday evening.
The efforts of Damani, earned him a whopping cash fund of Rs two lakh and the handsome CCI Snooker Trophy and a fine crystal trophy as well. Kothari who was a lot jaded had to be satisfied with the runner-up cash award of Rs 1.30 lakh, while the losing semi-finalists, Kamal Chawla and Aditya Mehta, both took home a purse of Rs 75,000 each.
The Indian Oil cueist Damani did not have to produce anything exceptional as Kothari seemed tense and was unable to find his rhythm. Damani played steadily and potted consistently. He was also more ambitious of the two PSPP players as he boldly attempted some long and difficult shots and succeeded with those pots which played a big role in his victory.
“It’s great to win. I am not surprised to have won so comfortably, sometimes it happens that your opponent has a bad day. Sourav is a formidable opponent, who has great qualities, but I decided to stick to my game and I think it was my consistent performance which helped me come through,” a pleased Damani said after the win. “I had defeated Kothari by a similar 6-1 margin in a tournament in Kolkata in 2015,” he further stated.
Kothari made a positive start and came with two small efforts of 19 and 21 to lead 48-25, but missed a simple last red in the centre pocket. Damani grabbed the chance as he potted the final red and followed it up with the brown before clearing the balls from the table to compile a run of 35 to snatch the first frame, which was the beginning of his charge to success. In the second Damani rattled in efforts of 33 and 53 to close out the frame to take a 2-0.
The third frame was a virtually a cat and mouse affair as Kothari was more intent on safety play and in the process missed some sitter and also gave away a lot of penalty points which helped Damani win the third to increase hois advantage 3-0. Damani trailed in the fourth but won the frame on the black to further stretch his lead and he continued his surge by coming from behind to also pocket the fifth.
Kothari raised hopes of a fight back as he managed a break of 43 to finally get on the scoreboard winning the sixth frame just before the break.
However, on resumption, Damani won the next two frames to wrap up the match, winning at (57(break 35)-48, 86(33, 53)-6, 57-8, 55-51, 65-54, 5-79(43), 75-20, 72-2).
Results – final: Brijesh Damani (Indian Oil) bt Sourav Kothari (ONGC) 7-1 (57(35)-48, 86(53)-6, 57-8, 55-51, 65-54, 5-79(43), 75-20, 72-2).