Advani en route to seventh National Billiards title

After easing to victories in the quarterfinals and the semis, Pankaj Advani looks set to capture his seventh National Billiards title.

Pankaj Advani Billiards

Pankaj Advani beat Brijesh Damani 4-1 in the semifinal.   -  K. Murali Kumar

The recently crowned world champion in the 150 up format, Pankaj Advani is in the line for a seventh National Billiards title when he got past Brijesh Damani with ease in the semifinals of the Manisha National Billiards and Snooker championship at the PYC Gymkhana here on Monday.

Advani got two classic century breaks -- 129 and 151 -- for a 4-1 victory against his PSPB teammate Damani.

In the quarterfinal, Advani faced a resolute 23-year-old Dhwaj Haria. Once he got into the groove, Advani eventually trounced the young aspirant. He levelled games scores winning the second with a fluent 143. Haria who showed good form in the run up to the last eight made a composed 133 to regain the lead at 2-1 before Advani moved around the table with usual calmness, cracked big breaks of 145 and 127 to lead 3-2 before clinching the sixth game with two fine efforts of 61 and 67.

Two time IBSF World Billiards championship winner Rupesh Shah was in top gear against Railways' Siddharth Parikh. The 43-year-old ran up breaks of 88, 55 in the first game, 96 in the second before touching peak form for breaks of 150 and 151 in the third and fourth games to score an overwhelming victory against Parikh. Shah finished the quarterfinal set to seven games in a little over an hour.

In the other two quarterfinals, Dhruv Sitwala made three century breaks and yet lost to Damani 2-4 while Sourav Kothari beat Siddharth Parikh 4-0.

Results (semi-finals): Pankaj Advani (PSPB) bt Brijesh Damani (PSPB) 4-1 (101-151 (102), 150-21, 150 (99)-62, 150 (129)-47, 151 (151)-0; (quarter-finals) Pankaj Advani (PSPB) bt Dhwaj Haria (PSPB) 4-2 (99 - 151 (86), 151 (143) -0, 84 -151 (133), 151 (145) -0, 152 (127) - 5, 150 (61,67) – 78; Brijesh Damani (PSPB) 4-2 (128 (102) -151 (90), 152-124, 0-150 (139), 151 (92)-58, 151-0, 151-126 (102); Sourav Kothari (PSPB) bt Vishal Madan (Mah) 4-0 (150 - 97, 151 (151) - 9, 152 (54) - 99 (58), 152 (90) -18); Rupesh Shah (PSPB) bt Siddharth Parikh (Rlys) 4-0 (151 (88,55) - 22, 150 (96) - 4, 150 (150) - 2, 150 (151) – 13).