Former state champion Nikhil Ootam of CCI rallied from a 0-2 deficit to surge to a thrilling 4-3 win to enter the quarter-finals of the Islam Gymkhana-BSAM.in Open Snooker Tournament on Wednesday.
Facing a quality cueist in Shivam Arora of Bihar,Ootam overcame a strong challenge before escaping to a 50-57,21-64,59-32,65-52,77-52,25-62,51-10 win in one of the most absorbing matches of the day.
Arora surged to an early advantage but the experienced Ootam won three frames in a row to get right back into the match. Arora kept his hopes alive by forcing the decider where Ootam fired a brilliant long red cannon and took the match away.
Faisal Khan of Railways also impressed with a 4-1 win over Arun Kumar of Thane that included three successive half-century breaks and a 49. Joining Ootam and Khan in the last eight was Manish Jain of West Bengal who beat Hasan Badami of CCI 4-1.
Earlier,India junior No. 1 Laxman Rawat of Delhi advanced to the pre-quarter-finals after prevailing over Abhimanyu Gandhi of Gujarat 4-1.
Pre-quarter-finals: Manish Jain (West Bengal) bt Hasan Badami (CCI) 70-56,57-48,10-73,65-49,66-58; Nikhil Ootam (CCI) bt Shivam Arora (Bihar) 50-57,21-64,59-32,65-52,77-52,25-62,51-10; Faisal Khan (Rlys) bt Arun Kumar (Thane) 27-73,95(53)-9,73(58)-40,80(58)-8,72(49)-11. Elite Group A: Siddharth Parikh (PJ Hindu Gym) bt Mukund Bharadia (MCF) 77-34,32-66,78-36,38-73,62-15,66-32; Shivam Arora (Bihar) bt Farhad Tengra (Elphinstone CC) 92-8,60-8,65-36,22-64,64-40; Laxman Rawat (Delhi) bt Abhimanyu Gandhi (Gujarat) 13-61,56-5,48-37,105(56)-24,56-33.