Defending champs Otters ‘Rockets’ and strong challengers Radio ‘Tigers’ convincingly won their semi-final encounters to set up a clash for the top honors in the Otters Club BSAM Mumbai Z3-snooker League 2018, at Otters Club Billiards Room.
Abhimanyu Gandhi’s return to winning form and Rishabh’s Thakkar’s impressive steady play helped Otters Club win the first two frames which laid the foundation for their success. Later, skipper Zenul Arsiwala continued with his consistently impressive performances and along with Nabil Lakdawala, they managed to pocket a steamroll past Andheri Recreation Club team ARC ‘Cheetahs’ by a 3-0 margin in a semi-final match.
In the other semi-final, Vimal Marital continued with his inspiring and exciting potting abilities and he once again dished out match-winning efforts in both his frames, which was instrumental in Radio Club’s Tigers coasting to a 3-1 win against Khar Gymkhana’s young team KG ‘C’ on the side table.
Otters Club’s key player Gandhi, who had earlier lost both his frames in the team’s 3-2 win against BG ‘Phantoms’ in the quarterfinals, regained his form.
Gandhi, playing with a low handicap of +10 against Akshay Vasani +55 handicap, came up with a fighting performance and after conceding some negative points initially trailed by over 60 points. But, with his fine potting skills he constructed a run of 41 points to cut down Vasani’s lead and thereafter he took control before potting the brown and the pink to score an 80-68 win in the opening, 15-red singles frame.
Later, Thakkar (+20) with some clever tactical play knocked the fight out of the Anand (+20) and romped to a facile 89-34 win in the 15-red singles, second frame.
The home side seemed to be in a hurry as they combined well to also win the 9-red doubles, third frame.
Arsiwala and Lakdawala (+21) capitalized on the missed opportunities of their opponents Om Sawant and Tarun Kalra (+29) to snatch a 66-47 win and wrap up the match in their favor and earn another shot at the title.