Indian Open: Pankaj cruises to second round

India’s best bet, Pankaj Advani, came up with a fluent performance to get the better of Elliot Slessor of England to score a 4-0 win and enter the second round of the third Indian Open.

Pankaj Advani..."I learnt the other form of winning with absolute safe play."   -  Nagara Gopal

India’s best bet, Pankaj Advani, came up with a fluent performance to get the better of Elliot Slessor of England to score a 4-0 win and enter the second round of the third Indian Open world-ranking snooker tournament at the HICC-Novotel Hotel here on Wednesday.

The star Indian cueist proved a point or two without being flamboyant - the emphasis being more on small but effective breaks at the right time to down Slessor, whom he was playing for the first time in the circuit.

Pankaj came up with a break of 38 in the third frame only to see Slessor miss a simple red. The way the former responded in style with another break of 34 to wrap up the frame was an illustration of his strategy.

It was apparent that the approach of Pankaj was much better on Wednesday, giving little room for the English opponent who started off well but failed to capitalise later and another break of 47 in the fourth frame was good enough to seal the opponent’s fate. Pankaj’s win came minutes after another Indian wild card entrant Ishpreet Chadha crashed out of the championship, losing to Welshman Dominic Dale 2-4.

“I am happy to get the job done today. Didn’t try to any new things or go for the big breaks of 70 or 80-plus. I learnt the other form of winning with absolute safe play,” Pankaj remarked later.

The 15-time world champion from India reminded that it was important to be patient at this level, eliminating the risk factor by going for the difficult, long-balls. “Definitely, my opponent was generous to me with a couple of errors. But, it is still all about finishing the frames,” Pankaj commented.

Former world champions Peter Edbon and Shaun Murphy, both from England, also made it to the second round.

With Marco Fu of Hong Kong outplaying Dilip Kumar, the last Indian in action this evening, 4-0, Advani now remains the lone challenger from the home country in this edition. World No.12 Fu seemed to be in a hurry notching up breaks of 81 and an unfinished 104 in the first and fourth frames respectively to wrap up the issue with ease.

The results: 1st round: Pankaj Advani (Ind) bt Elliot Slessor (Eng) 60-22, 69-1, 72-0, 65-8; Mark Davis (Eng) bt Robin Hull (Fin) 78 (62)-0, 51-68, 84-0, 119 (63)-1, 59-71 (56), 1-124 (124), 74 (73)-25; Dominic Dale (Wales) bt Ishpreet Chadha (Ind) 51-84 (84), 89-26, 73-33, 69-38, 0-97 (73), 123 (57, 64)-0; David Willey (Eng) bt Mike Dunn (Eng) 75-8, 66-12, 59-13, 54-65, 16-69 (56), 99 (80)-35; Nigel Bond (Eng) bt Ricky Walden (Eng) 66-16, 65-23, 41-66, 71-14, 110 (106)-0; Shaun Murphy (Eng) bt Daniel Wells (Wales) 65-3 68-1, 64-35, 29-62, 81-27; Gary Wilson (Eng) bt Zhao Xingtong (Chn) 65-47, 84-31, 48-59, 88 (58)-15, 79-43; Mark Williams (Wales) bt Zhang Yong (Chn) 55-44, 57-37, 48-59, 68 (60)-1, 80(67)-0; Sam Baird (Eng) bt Jack Lisowski (Eng) 40-48, 22-79, 93-0, 78-56, 76 (76)-34, 21-71, 82 (82)-0; Anthony Hamilton (Eng) bt Eden Sharav (Scot) 5-82, 108 (92)-0, 75(51)-48, 4-84, 49-58, 80 (80)-0, 69-1; John J Astley (Eng) bt Ryan Day (Wales) 120 (91)-9, 50-76, 1-83 (83), 88 (88)-15, 0-137 (137), 79-71, 90 (90)-0; Mathew Selt (Eng) bt David Grace (Eng) 17-74, 49-64, 100 (100)-0, 65-59 (59), 68 -24, 84-41; Peter Edbon (Eng) bt Zhou Yuelong (Chn) 6-83, 72-4, 69 (61)-22, 76-41, 73-33. Marco Fu (HKg) bt Dilip Kumar (Ind) 85 (81)-0, 62-2, 64-55, 104 (104)-1; Stephen Maguire (Scot) bt Alfie Burden (Eng) 87 (52)-0, 92(69)-7, 71-28, 85-48.