Carlow: April 9 (IANS) Indian Sourav Kothari lost 8-3 to world number one David Causier in the World Billiard League (WBL) World Matchplay Championship 2022 final here.
The championship is the sport’s premier short-form competition and was returning to the circuit for the first time since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last held in Leeds, the latest edition was organized by the Snooker and Billiards Ireland Academy in Carlow, Republic of Ireland.
His compatriot Dhruv Sitwala also claimed a bronze medal at the Irish Open Billiards Championships, which was held before the start of this event at the same venue.
For Sitwala, this was her third international medal in a month. He had won silver in Asian billiards about 20 days ago and now he took two bronze medals here.
At the World Matchplay Championship, the 2018 World Champion from India, Kothari, enjoying his return to the world stage for the first time since the start of the pandemic, came up short against Causier.
The Kolkata cueist also advanced from Group A, with their only loss to Causier, 4-1. During the knockout stage, he defeated Peter Sheehan (England) 5-4 in the last 16 and Martin Goodwill (England) 6-1 in the last eight.
In the final four, Kothari ended Robert Hall’s hopes of a one-off double at Carlow, defeating him 7 frames to 3. Hall had won the Irish Open before.
The climax was a clash between two world champions: Kothari had memorably come back to defeat Causier in an epic semi-final en route to the world title three and a half years ago.
The final got off to a dramatic start when Kothari missed a cannon to claim the opening frame which was eventually taken by Causier 100 to 98. However, under bizarre circumstances, Causier was unable to negotiate an in-off when a shot on goal was far out of reach. double their lead in frame two, according to a report on the official website of the WBPSA, the sport’s governing body.
A relieved Kothari, who had been ahead and was agonizingly close to winning that frame as well, had a simple cue ball to open his account with the same score as the first.
The action began to calm down after this jittery opening exchange as Causier won the third frame with a break of 100 on an unanswered call. He then tipped frame four with a fast break 101 and frame five with the help of a 72. However, Kothari responded well; breaks of 77 and 67 helped him move within one by the time they reached the mid-session interval.
Upon resumption, however, the pendulum swung again as Causier chained four consecutive frames to retain the trophy.