Advani blows Haria away, secures ninth senior national title

B. Bhaskar won the third-place playoff, against Rupesh Shah.

Pankaj Advani in action during senior nationals mens billiards championship at KSBA.   -  SUDHAKARA JAIN

Pankaj Advani crushed Dhvaj Haria’s dreams of winning a maiden Senior National men’s billiards championship trophy with a commanding performance in the final at KSBA here on Monday.

Advani hardly allowed Haria to get on the table, as he waltzed his way to a ninth senior National billiards title. The Bengaluru cueist put on a masterclass to inflict a one-sided 151-0, 152-0, 151-36, 151-0, 152-112 defeat on his stunned opponent.

Read: Haria impresses at senior national men's billiards championship

The 32-year-old achieved a rare feat, piercing through the entire championship without dropping a frame.

A 147-break in the opening frame of the summit clash set the tone early. Advani reserved his best for the closing stages of the second, when he dazzled the audience by taking 33 points with just the red in play. Many of his shots were tough in-offs, with the red expertly brought back to the centre of the table. With this dream sequence, Advani took a 2-0 lead, while Haria was yet to return a single point.

The 23-year-old Haria managed to gain a 36-13 advantage in the third frame. A missed in-off gave Advani an opening, and he blew it wide open with an unfinished 138. Haria was forced to throw in the towel soon after.

A pleased Advani stated that it was important to be the first off the blocks. “The opening three frames were the key. After I took a 3-0 lead, I knew I had control over the match. I’m happy that my best performance in the Nationals came in the final,” he said.

The result (final):

Pankaj Advani (PSPB) bt Dhvaj Haria (PSPB) 151-0, 152-0, 151-36, 151-0, 152-112.

Third-place playoff: B. Bhaskar (Kar) bt Rupesh Shah (PSPB) 150-57,
62-150, 151-116, 26-150, 152-9.

Final standings: 1. Pankaj Advani, 2. Dhvaj Haria, 3. B Bhaskar, 4.
Rupesh Shah, 5. Alok Kumar (PSPB), 6. Siddharth Parikh (Rlys), 7.
Devendra Joshi (PSPB), 8. Brijesh Damani (PSPB).
Advani’s senior National titles (20):

Billiards (9) - 2018, 2017, 2015, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005.

Snooker (8) - 2017, 2015, 2014, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2003

6-Red Snooker (3): 2017, 2016, 2010