Defending champion Laxman Rawat overwhelmed former champion Hasan Badami 4-0 to retain the senior snooker title,in the Malabar Hill Club Maharashtra State Selection Billiards and Snooker Tournament.
The in-form Rawat of Khar Gymkhana lived up to his reputation of title favourite with an emphatic 52-30,76-6,80-0,61-52 victory that included two significant half-century breaks in the best-of-seven frames championship round. Neel Vithalani of the host club prevailed over Arun Kumar of Thane 3-1 to finish
third in the competition.
Asian 6-Red bronze medalist Rawat,who hit a 100 in the round robin,an unfinished 115 in the pre-quarter-finals and a break of 101 in the semi-finals,added a break of 50 in the second frame and 80 in the third against a hapless Badami that reflected his devastating form in the competition. Badami failed to capitalize on the chances that came his way as he missed a
sitter brown in the opening frame that paved the way for a clearance by Rawat. A poor safety shot added to Badamis woes in the second frame that allowed Rawat to construct the break of 50.
A cautious Badami,who won the title two seasons ago,was ahead by 36 points in the fourth frame but frittered away the advantage again as Rawat recovered brilliantly to take the frame and match away.
This is my best performance, explained a delighted Rawat,who trains under two-time Asian champion Yasin Merchant at the Khar Gymkhana.
The conditions were beautiful right through the competition and that played a significant part in getting the three century breaks.
Training with Yasin Sir has made me a better player as I have improved in break-building and snookers. International exposure has also played a part, revealed Rawat,who recently featured in the World Professional 6-Red Championship in Thailand and the World Amateur 6-Red Championship in Ireland.
The first frame was crucial for me until I missed that brown, admitted Badami. In the second frame too,I played a poor safety shot. I should have taken advantage of that lead in the fourth frame. Laxman was in terrific form and he made the most of it.
Results: Senior Snooker: Final: Laxman Rawat (Khar Gym) bt Hasan Badami (CCI) 52-30,76(50)-6,80(80)-0,61-52; third place playoff: Neel Vithalani (Malabar Hill Club) bt Arun Kumar (Thane) 57-14,58-45,38-63,56-50.