Japheth Kazenga 17 March 2011 UPANGA Darts Club (UDC) 'heavyweights' Mohamed Shamji 'Jaluo' and Devanand Rajput qualified for the semi-finals of the Paul Cup 2011 tournament after edging Bhavesh Solanki and Sanjay Kara respectively in gripping quarter-final duels played at the club's venue on Wednesday. Both Jaluo and Rajput were forced to summon their experience to defeat their opponents, as the latter showed stunning determination to stretch the matches, played in the best of seven games' format, right up to the end. Jaluo came from two games down to edge youthful Solanki 4-3 in the first quarter-final before Rajput displayed yet another memorable comeback to beat Kara by similar margin in the tightly contested matches, which kept enthusiastic fans cheering noisily. Solanki, one of UDC's emerging young talents, was almost heading for a comfortable win when he led 3-1 after four games, but his opponent slowly gathered confidence to win the next two games and drew level 3-3 to push the match to the deciding seventh game. Jaluo had an edge over his opponent in the decider and although both were a bit timid midway, the former unleashed his aggressive finishing skills to win the game and send the excited fans into wild celebrations. Fans were in for yet another thrilling comeback performance from Rajput in the second quarter-final in which the no nonsense player's high scoring tactics were crucial to his victory. Kara led 3-0 after the first three games in what was seemingly a replay of his convincing performance, that won him the second round match against Vasant Rana a day before. Rajput, however, was never down and out as his high scoring virtuosity came into view thereafter to see him level 3-3 after six games and consequently propel the duel to another deciding seventh game of the day. The two began trading high scores on the dartboard right from the start of the decider in which Rajput opened the battle by hitting 140 as his opponent replied by recording the same score in his turn and both won deafening applause from fans in the process. After having managed to reduce his score to 104, Kara failed to deploy his finishing tactics during his turn in front of the dartboard and Rajput, who remained with 69 points, finished off easily to progress to the semi-final. UDC secretary general Bharat Vyas said the other two quarter-final matches were scheduled to take place yesterday in which Aman Sayad was expected to play Mehboob Khakoo while Azim Haji Mohamed faced Nanji Bhudia. Khakoo, Sayad, Bhudia and Mohamed emerged winners in their respective second round matches against Rajesh Divecha, Rizwan Dhalla, Nitin Katakia and Ramesh Chohan on Tuesday in which Khakoo dispatched Divecha 3-1, Sayad thrashed Dhalla 3-0, Bhudia edged Katakia 3-2 and Mohamed beat Chohan 3-1. The club's player Godfrey Tarimo has sponsored the tournament as part of efforts by the city darts fraternity to revive the sport.