Indian Open: Maguire ends India's challenge

Stephen Maguire of Scotland thwarted a great escape bid by Pankaj Advani of India to ensure that the host’s challenge has effectively ended in the second round of the Indian Open snooker.

Stephen Macguire at one stage looked set to romp home easily after taking a 3-1 lead.   -  Nagara Gopal

Stephen Maguire of Scotland thwarted a great escape bid by Pankaj Advani of India to ensure that the host’s challenge has effectively ended with a 4-3 win in the second round of the third Indian Open world ranking snooker tournament at the HICC-Novotel here on Thursday.

The World No. 18 from Scotland at one stage looked set to romp home easily after taking a 3-1 lead but soon lost his rhythm and there were too many lapses in concentration which saw the star Indian come back in the fifth and sixth frames to level the frame score three-all.

In the decider, which lasted more than 70 minutes, and which also featured the famed Pankaj Advani’s safety play — it was the tenacity of Maguire which saw him through despite, by his own confession, playing an erratic game.

“It was sheer bad luck in the decider. The balls never really rolled for me. I thought I fought back really well and applied myself to hang in there after trailing 1-3,” Pankaj commented later.

“He (Maguire) is a seasoned player and never left for me anything. I should say I was the more unfortunate of the two. Well, towards the end of the decider he just needed the blue whereas I needed all three colours (blue, black and pink),” the 15-time world champion remarked. “Honestly, I had no great expectations from this event but I am happy with the way I played here,” he said

Earlier, former world champion and current World No. 4 Shaun Murphy survived a scare of sorts before getting the better of a fighting World No. 94 Michael Georgiou of Cyprus 4-3 to enter the third round.

David Lilley of England scored a 4-3 win over former two-time world champion Mark Williams of Wales while another world champion, Peter Edbon of England, stayed in the hunt with a 4-1 win over Duane Jones of Wales.

The results: 2nd round: Stephen Magquire (Scot) bt Pankaj Advani (Ind) 19-65, 85 (63)-0, 62 (62)-57, 65(51)-15, 44-77, 66-42; Barry Hawkins (Eng) bt Rory McLeod (Eng) 137 (102)-0, 87 (58)-27, 74-36, 41-70, 50-65, 72-0; Kyren Wilson (Eng) bt Xiao Guodong (Chn) 14-97 (97), 67-74 (58), 9-83 (83), 75-23, 63 (53)-24, 81-1, 57-19; Oliver Lines (Eng) bt Andrew Higginson (Eng) 70 (59)-20, 50-75, 64-30, 13-65 (59), 93 (59)-30, 79 -48; Dominic Dale (Wales) bt Marco Fu (Hkg) 99 (54)-28, 66-35, 56-12, 57-20; Shaun Murphy (Eng) bt Michael Georgiou (Cyprus) 86 (57)-0, 7-63 (52), 68-31, 89 (52)-0, 10-68, 6-86 (82), 56-7; Anthony McGill (Scot) bt Mathew Selt (Eng) 80 (80)-8, 59 (51)-15, 1-67 (67), 79 (79)-33, 23-72, 83 (83)-51 (51); Robert Milkins (Eng) bt Joe Swail (NIreland) 72-1, 1-70, 140 (140)-0, 69-44, 83(54)-1; Gary Wilson (Eng) bt Anthony Hamilton (Eng) 69-63, 72-39, 87-0, 1-135 (127), 0-111 (69), 76 (70)-0; David Lilley (Eng) bt Mark Williams (Wales) 65 (57)-68, 70-31, 51-53, 65-30, 81 (59)-10, 0-74 (74), 72-40; Peter Edbon (Eng) bt Duane Jones (Wales) 63-18, 65-47, 64-46, 14-75 (71), 85(57)-8.