MUMBAI: Devendra Joshi overcame Ashok Shandilya in a pulsating decider to lead Race for Gold to a thrilling 3-2 win over SPG Billiards Punters in the inaugural Videocon Billiards Premier League on Wednesday.
After Cyrus Mistry forced the decider for Punters, who trailed 0-2, with an impressive win over Ronnie Daruwala in the crucial fourth tie, Joshi beat Shandilya at the death in a clash between members of the victorious India ‘B’ team at the world team championship in Glasgow recently.
Race for Gold’s closely fought win set the trend for more tight encounters as Maharashtra junior champion Jaiveer Dhingra hit 95 in the decider in WJ Genii’s win over The Rakish Kings and MB’s Shooters beat RRockets.
World team championship silver medallist Dhruv Sitwala hit 114 for Shooters and Australian Open bronze medallist Siddharth Parikh hit 91.
Maharashtra senior champion Arun Agrawal fired 159 for the tournament’s highest break in his team SP Young Guns’ 2-3 loss to Race for Gold earlier.
Scorpions beat SK’s Kannon Masters and SPG Billiards Punters prevailed over Tigers in other ties to register their first wins in the league.
Shandilya missed another century by six points against Nalin Patel in a battle between icon cueists.
MB’s Shooters and WJ Genii enhanced their tally to 23 points to continue to lead the table, followed by Race for Gold (19), Tigers (17), SP Young Guns and RRockets (16), Rakish Kings (15), SPG Billiards Punters (13), Kannon Masters (11) and Scorpions (9).
Results: WJ Genii bt The Rakish Kings 3-2; Scorpions bt SK’s Kannon Masters 3-2; MB’s Shooters bt RRockets 3-2; SPG Billiards Punters bt Tigers 4-1; Race for Gold bt SP Young Guns 3-2; bt SPG Billiards Punters 3-2.