Mumbai: MB's Shooters outclassed Race for Gold 3-1 to lift the title in the inaugural Videocon Billiards Premier League, organised by the Billiards and Snooker Association of Maharashtra, at the Bombay Gymkhana here.
Vishal Madan gave Shooters a dream start with a shock 100-94 win over world team championship gold medallist and former Asian champion Devendra Joshi. Doubles pair Marzban Ambroliwala and Rovin D'Souza restored parity with a close win over Mehernosh Billimoria and Shekhar Krishnan to raise hopes of a tight finish.
However, Amit Sapru put Shooters ahead again by trouncing Rohan Jambusaria 100-28 before in-form two-time world runner-up and world team championship silver medallist eight Dhruv Sitwala sealed the issue with an exciting win over Ronnie Daruwala in the crucial fourth singles tie.
Shooters earned the winner's prize of Rs 1.25 lakh, while Race for Gold received Rs 90,000. "I believe the verdict was out when I lost the opening tie itself," said Race for Gold captain Devendra Joshi.
"Ronnie had his chances and he needed a big break. But playing under pressure and against a player of Dhruv's calibre is a difficult task," he added.
"Initially we were tied at 65-all and the game was in Ronnie's favour at one stage," said Shooters' star Sitwala. "But I relied on consistent breaks of 50 to close in towards my target. Apart from me, Vishal and Amit also made a significant contribution towards our team's success by raising the level of their games and winning crucial ties," he added.
Result: Final: MB's Shooters bt Race for Gold 3-1 (Vishal Madan bt Devendra Joshi 100-94; Mehernosh Billimoria/Shekhar Krishnan lost to Marzban Ambroliwala/Rovin D'Souza 91-100; Amit Sapru bt Rohan Jambusaria 100-28; Dhruv Sitwala bt Ronnie Daruwala 100 (87,60)-59.