Fourth seed Faisal Khan shocked top seed Rafath Habib 11-8 to storm into the final of the Atlas 9-ball Pool Tournament at the Islam Gymkhana on Friday.
On another dramatic day of upsets,unseeded Praneet Ramchandani of Chennai also stunned No. 5 Yasin Merchant of Mumbai 11-9 in a thrilling race-to-11 racks semi-final.
Delhi-based Khan of Railways displayed awesome form as he led 6-4 at the half-way stage. But Chennai-based Habib,who is India No. 1 in 9-ball pool,kept pace with his young opponent as he drew level at 8-8.
Habib was well on course to take the lead,but he fouled late in the 17th rack and Khan,who is India No. 3 in 9-ball pool,seized the opportunity to surge to a crucial 9-8 lead. Khan made it 10-8 and once again capitalised on Habib’s foul to seal the match in the 19th rack.
Earlier,Khan snatched a pulsating victory from the jaws of defeat when he rallied from a 2-8 deficit to snare seven racks in a row and overcome Manish Jain of Kolkata 9-8 in the race-to-nine racks quarter-finals.
Praneet Ramchandani also was forced to come from behind after trailing 4-6 against the formidable Yasin Merchant.
Merchant’s form was envious but Ramchandani ignored the reputation of his much accomplished rival to draw level at 9-9.
Ramchandani later capitalised on a series of errors by Merchant including those in the 19th and 20th racks and completed the match in a flourish.
(Semi-finals): Faisal Khan (Rlys) bt Rafath Habib (Rlys) 11-8; Praneet Ramchandani (Chennai) bt Yasin Merchant (Islam Gym) 11-9. QF: Faisal Khan (Rlys) bt Manish Jain (Kolkata) 9-8; Yasin Merchant (Islam Gym) bt Shravan Mohta (PSPB) 9-6; Rafath Habib (Rlys) bt Hasan Badami (Islam Gym) 9-6; Praneet Ramchandani (Chennai) bt Sidharth Parikh (Mumbai) 9-4. PQF: Praneet Ramchandani (Chennai) bt Manav Panchal (Mumbai) 7-4; Sidharth Parikh (Mumbai) bt Manoj Kasare (Khar Gym) 7-4.