Pankaj Advani enters semifinals of IBSF World billiards C'ship

Pankaj Advani overcame a battling Dhruv Sitwala to enter the semifinal of the IBSF World billiards (points format) championship at the KSBA here.

Pankaj Advani said he won't look too far ahead and take it frame by frame in the semifinal.   -  K.Murali Kumar

Pankaj Advani overcame a battling Dhruv Sitwala to enter the semifinal of the IBSF World billiards (points format) championship at the KSBA here.

Advani began with a bang, reeling off an unfinished 150 in the very first frame. The home favourite notched up a 152 in the second, while Sitwala was yet to score a single point. Sitwala got on the scoreboard soon after, but only just. The third frame, which started with a long period of safety exchanges, went 151-5 to Advani. It looked like an early finish was on the cards.

With his back to the wall, Sitwala came out fighting. He won a scrappy fourth frame, and unleashed a stellar 151 in the fifth to reduce the deficit to 2-3. Sitwala’s comeback hopes hit a wall at this point, as Advani asserted his might by closing out the best-of-nine frame outing 5-2.

Advani, who had lost in the last-eight stage in the long-up event earlier, stated that he was at his best. “Sitwala played out of his skin, so I had to fight hard. He was a worthy opponent. He’s my good friend - it is never easy when we have to play against each other," he said.

"I don't want to look too far ahead. I need to get sharper to do well in the semifinal. I will take it frame by frame," Advani added.

In another quarterfinal fixture, Myanmar's Aung Htay recorded a facile victory over India’s Alok Kumar. Htay and Alok split the first two frames, before the former raced ahead to post a 5-1 win. Htay will face Advani in the semifinal, which will be held on Monday morning.

Peter Gilchrist, the long-up champion, punished an error-prone Sourav Kothari. Gilchrist goes up against Dhvaj Haria, who edged out Chit Ko Ko in a tense affair.

The results (Indians unless mentioned):

Quarterfinals: Pankaj Advani bt Dhruv Sitwala 150-0, 152-0, 151-5, 89-150, 107-151, 151-69, 150-128; Aung Htay (Myn) bt Alok Kumar 152-65, 128-150, 151-132, 151-105, 152-91, 150-91; Peter Gilchrist (Sing) bt Sourav Kothari 150-144, 150-38, 150-60, 120-150, 82-150, 150-27, 152-54; Dhvaj Haria (Ind) bt Chit Ko Ko (Myn) 30-151, 153-0, 51-152, 152-0, 152-56, 87-151, 150-84, 151-101.

Pre-quarterfinals: Peter Gilchrist (Sing) bt Brijesh Damani (Ind) 152-0, 66-151, 150-47, 150-92, 98-150, 154-24; Dhvaj Haria bt B. Bhaskar 151-68, 152-28, 54-151, 150-11, 153-29; Htay bt Rupesh Shah 151-137, 151-45, 150-138, 150-145; Sourav Kothari bt Thawat Sujaritthurakarn (Tha) 150-146, 150-0, 136-150, 150-55, 150-0; Chit Ko Ko (Myn) bt Praprut Chaithanasakun (Tha) 150-143, 150-9, 110-150, 150-69, 150-82; Alok bt Robert Hall (Eng) 150-140, 150-91, 150-108, 80-150, 150-143; Sitwala bt Siddharth Parikh 56-150, 151-19, 3-151, 152-0, 151-37, 150-109; Advani bt Devendra Joshi 151-31, 152-5, 151-25, 150-139.