Multiple-time World and Asian champion, Pankaj Advani, stayed on course to defend his title, as he sailed into the finals of the 17th Asian Billiards Championship, here, on Friday.
Advani produced superlative performances, in the quarterfinals and semifinal stages, as he outclassed local favourite Aung Htay 5-1, and then defeated compatriot Dhvaj Haria 5-1, to reach the final.
The last eight match consisted of the one-hundred breaks, a 91 and an 86, as Advani entered the semifinal to confirm India a medal. Htay scored a century in the solitary frame he won.
In the evening session, it was a repeat of 2018’s Indian National Billiards final, with Advani taking on Gujarat’s Dhvaj, who overcame Singapore’s Peter Gilchrist, with a 5-0 triumph.
The domestic final was a 5-0 win for Pankaj, and the semifinal, of this Asian event, was almost the same, barring the one frame that Dhvaj managed to gain.
In the one-sided tie, Dhvaj had breaks of 50 and 80, while Pankaj had runs of 59, 66, 99 and 100, to close out the match 5-1. In what is going to be an all-Indian final, Pankaj awaits the winner of B. Bhaskar and Rupesh Shah, in the other semifinal.
In the ladies snooker event, Keerath Bhandaal ended her Asian campaign with a bronze, after going down 0-3 to Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan of Thailand. In the other semifinal, India’s only hope Amee Kamani will battle it out with Ka Ka Wan of Hong Kong for a place in the final.
Semifinal: Pankaj Advani defeated Dhvaj Haria 5-1: 100-72, 0-100, 100-30, 100-2, 100-6, 100-0.
Quarterfinal: Pankaj Advani beat Aung Htay 5-1: 100-67, 100-0, 0-100, 102-0, 104-41, 100-2.
Dhvaj Haria defeated Peter Gilchrist 5-0: 101-11, 100-65, 100-14, 102-24, 102-28.
B. Bhaskar beat Nay Thway Oo 5-2: 101-17, 101-50, 42-101, 100-10, 101-12, 87-100, 100-2.
Rupesh Shah beat Thawat Sujaritthurakarn 5-4: 84-102, 87-104, 101-91, 35-101, 101-89, 101-11, 88-100, 101-29, 100-35.