Melbourne, June 13 (IANS) Reigning world billiards champion Sourav Kothari on Thursday stormed into the final of the Pacific International Billiards here with a thrilling win over Dhvaj Haria.
Kothari will now take on multiple times world champion Peter Gilchrist of Singapore in the final of Friday.
Gilchrist beat in-form Dhruv Sitwala of India, 1250-823.
Kothari 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 off Robbie Chilcot of Australia rather comfortably 750-222 with big breaks of 243 and 193 in the long-up format of 750 points, Kothari faced tough challenge from seasoned Englishman Rob Hall in the quarter finals.
To counter a massive break of 290 by Hall, he 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 reach 1000 points to win 1000-684.
The semi-finals against highly talented Dhvaj Haria was an absolute thriller. Haria, who had a dream run in the event to reach the semi-finals 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 of Kothari by 350 points in a 1250 points long-up format.
However, after the half an hour interval, the match completely turned and Kothari using all his experience managed to narrow the gap with consistent breaks of 100 plus points. A hour and a half after the mid session interval, he had narrowed the gap to less than 50 points and from then on pressure got to Haria who could not find answers to his consistent onslaught with breaks of 147, 132, 62, 131 and 50 and went down 1094-1250.
"It's a great feeling to play finals of billiards after winning the snooker event a couple of days back," Kothari said.