Asian Snooker Championship: Advani beats compatriot Mehta, assures himself a medal

Pankaj Advani is now the only Indian in the fray. He will now face Pakistan's Asjad Iqbal in the semifinal.

Advani

Pankaj Advani has assured himself of a medal in the Asian Snooker Championships in Doha.   -  Getty Images

India’s ace cueist Pankaj Advani made a late comeback to pip compatriot Aditya Mehta in the quarterfinals of the Asian Snooker Championship here on Thursday, assuring himself a medal.

In what was going to be a clear upset, Mehta was one frame away from ousting the 21-time world champion from the tournament but Pankaj’s resilient efforts saw him enforce the decider.

Pankaj and Aditya exchanged heavy blows in the form of back-to-back centuries. As Pankaj succeeded to equalise the frame score with a 105 break in the sixth, Aditya inched closer to the finish line with a 107 break the following frame. However, that was the last frame he was going to win.

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Aditya, a formidable snooker player from India, is yet to win a world title but is a former Asian champion. After several years being part of the snooker tour in the UK, he has returned to play for the country.

Pankaj fought back valiantly with measure and tenacity. A couple of useful 30-plus breaks brought the frame score to 4 a-piece. Aditya was the first to score in the ninth and final frame with a 39 break. A failed safety attempt saw him bring his worthy opponent to the table to score a 29 break before being kept safe on the opposite end of the table.

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He was forced to hand Pankaj an opening as there was no other go and the favourite did not disappoint. A well-crafted 37 break saw Pankaj sitting pretty as Aditya was in need of a snooker. It was pretty much curtains for the Mumbaikar as Pankaj delivered the final blow by potting the remaining balls on the table before they shook hands.

Pankaj is now the only Indian in the fray. His semifinal opponent is Pakistan’s Asjad Iqbal.

Results:
Pankaj Advani (India) defeated Aditya Mehta (India) 5-4 0-99(99), 1-60, 64-50, 97(72)-0, 35-90, 113(105)-0, 8-107(107), 61-16, 72-48.