Reigning world billiards champion Sourav Kothari stormed into the final of the Pacific International Billiards with a thrilling win over Dhvaj Haria here Thursday. In Friday's final, Kothari will take on multiple-time world champion Peter Gilchrist of Singapore, who produced another classy display to outwit an in-form Dhruv Sitwala of India, 1250-823.
"It's a great feeling to play finals of billiards after winning the snooker event a couple of days back," said Kothari, who had become the first Indian to win a Triple Crown event by bagging the Pacific International Snooker Championship - The Reventon Classic earlier this week. After disposing of Robbie Chilcott of Australia rather comfortably 750-222 with big breaks of 243 and 193 in the long up format of 750 points, Kothari faced a tough challenge from seasoned Englishman Rob Hall in the quarterfinals.
To counter a massive break of 290 by Hall, Kothari had to bring in the required consistency with breaks of 197, 77, 77, 125, 98 and finished the proceedings with a well-crafted unfinished break of 165 to win 1000-684. The semifinals against the highly talented Haria was an absolute thriller.
Haria, who had a dream run in the event to reach the semifinals with breaks of 400+ and almost a dozen 200+ breaks, started with a bang once again, with breaks of 201 and 231 to go ahead by 350 points in 1250 points long up format. However, after the half an hour interval, Kothari used all his experience to narrow the gap with consistent breaks of 100 plus points.
An hour and a half after the mid-session interval, Kothari had narrowed the gap to less than 50 points and from thereon pressure got to Haria, who went down 1094-1250.
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