Cue Slam: Advani, Vidya star for Chennai Strikers

Pankaj Advani and Vidya Pillai led Chennai Strikers to a comfortable 4-1 win over Delhi Dons, while Iranian Amir Sarkhosh played a big part in Hyderabad Hustlers' identical scoreline win over Gujarat Kings.

Pankaj Advani was the star of the day as he led the Chennai Strikers to a 4-1 win over Delhi Dons.

With Pankaj Advani and Vidya Pillai raising their level of play by a notch or two, Chennai Strikers scored an emphatic 4-1 win against Delhi Dons in the inaugural Cue Slam Indian Cue Masters League at the Rajpath Club on Sunday.

The Strikers had gone down fighting to Gujarat Kings on Saturday, but with the top four teams from the round-robin phase assured of a place in the semifinals, there was never an iota of doubt that the Strikers -- with such a versatile cue sport player in Advani -- will fail to make the knock-out. 

So in the cut and thrust format of the league, Advani won his icon 6 Red snooker match against the Dons’ Kelly Fisher to bring the Strikers its first win. Kelly plays snooker with a pool cue and she she moved to the US over a decade ago to play in the women’s 9-ball pool tour.

After an interesting first frame that the Strikers won 22-18 in the opening mixed-doubles 6 Red snooker, Advani and Vidya quickly won the second and the match against Manan Chandra and Kelly to take a 1-0 lead and Dharminder Lilly made it 2-0, winning his 9-ball pool against the Dons' Malkeet Singh.

Then, after a short break, Advani closed out the icon game singles against Kelly in two straight frames, while the Strikers’ mixed pair in 9-ball pool -- Vidya and Dharminder -- got the better of Laura Evans and Pushpinder Singh 2-0. The Dons’ Chandra pulled back the single frame snooker tie.

Iranian Amir Sarkhosh played a big part in Hyderabad Hustlers' 4-1 win by winning his 6 Red snooker icon match against Welshman Andrew Pagett and also defeating Alok Kumar in the 9-ball pool match. The Hustlers won all three snooker matches.

Results:

Chennai Strikers beat Delhi Dons 4-1: 6 Red Snooker: Pankaj Advani and Vidya Pillai bt Manan Chandra and Kelly Fisher 2-0 (22-18, 26-11); Advani bt Kelly 2-0 (31-19, 36-26), Faizal Khan lost to Manan Chandra 19-32; 9-ball pool: Dharminder Lilly bt Malkeet Singh 2-0; Lilly and Vidya by Laura Evans and Pushpinder Singh 2-0.

Hyderabad Hustlers beat Gujarat Kings 4-1 : 6 Red Snooker: Kamal Chawla and Amee Kamani bt Andrew Pagett and Daria Sirotina 2-0 (36-29, 25-19); Amir Sarkhosh bt Andrew Pagett 31-22, 41-28; Kamal Chawla bt Brijesh Damani 44-4; 9-ball pool: Amir Sarkhosh bt Alok kumar 2-0;   Anuj Uppal and Amee Kamani lost to Alok Kumar and Daria Sirotina 0-2.