Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The cueists from Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat drew spotlight on the first day of the 15-red snooker matches at the 88th National Billiards and Snooker Championship being held in state capital.
The 6-red snooker matches concluded on Friday. The format will act as a qualifying round for the main rounds of the snooker event.
Anas Chandiwala of Gujarat outplayed Laksh Kakkar of Punjab in three straight frames.
In a best of five frames first-round match, compiling a streamlined break of 76 in the very first frame, Anas was in no trouble against his rival as he romped home by 80-24, 61-12, 74-16 points.
Bhadresh Panchal, another veteran player from Gujarat, had to try hard to outpoint Harish K of Tamil Nadu by 3-2 frames, winning the well-contested match on the last ball.
Player from the host state Madhya Pradesh, Viren Sharma, had to put his best foot forward before getting the better of Ayush Sinha of Bihar by 3-2 frames. Losing the first frame, Viren came back strongly with a break of 62 in the second frame to draw the level at 1-1. With the next two frames being shared by the two players, it came to deciding fifth frame.
Viren, mixing his safety play with good potting, finally wrested the fifth frame and the match.
Another Madhya Pradesh player Nitin Agrawal was given a tough time by Mizoram player Liansan Zuala before Nitin came into his own in the fifth deciding frame with some neat potting to settle the game in his favour.
The national snooker coach, Ashok Shandiliya, held a 90-minute training session for 200 students at the venue auditorium. Students were from 15 schools that the SAGE University invited to promote billiards and snooker among youngsters.