Pankaj Advani, B Bhaskar sizzle at IBSF World Billiards Championship

The Asian Age.  | Chitrangada D C

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Peter Gilchrist survives Dhvaj Haria scare; Sourav Kothari scripts highest break after setback.

B. Bhaskar in action at the IBSF World BIlliards Championship at the KSBA in Bengaluru on Tuesday. (Photo: Shashidhar B.)

Bengaluru: Living up to his billing Pankaj Advani finished off his round robin matches with a clean slate, topping the group at the ongoing IBSF World  Billiards Championship at the Karnataka State Billiards Association, on Tuesday. Having already pocketed three out of four wins on the opening day, Advani finished off his final group match in little under an hour, dismissing France’s Akhilesh Mohan.

It was a walk in the park for the Bengaluru cueist as he notched up an easy 474-point victory over the 54-year-old Mohan (504-30), who failed to open his account in the championship. The win sealed Advani’s place in the pre-quarterfinals.

Former champion Peter Gilchrist survived a scare as he fought back to overcome Dhvaj Haria. The latter appeared set for a major upset as he was cruising ahead with almost 200-point lead at the hour-mark. But the former champion brought his years of skill and knowledge to the table as he took the game away from the youngster winning 502-485 to secure a place in the last-16 stage.

The Singaporean finished his group encounter with three wins from four matches. Haria, despite the loss, topped the group stage with three wins from four outings. The 23-year-old Haria bounced back from his loss to Gilchrist in fine fashion, to dismiss Siddharth Parikh 501-315. The Gujarat lad put on a scintillating display, winning the encounter with an unfinished break of 206.   

Satisfied with his performance, a jovial Haria said, “Today was a good day. I got to play with two top players. I was leading in the match against Peter but he came back and it was a good experience seeing him play. The win against Siddharth was good.”

Bhaskar ups the tempo:
Elsewhere, Sourav Kothari had a mixed day. The national champion fought hard getting past Robert Hall in the opening match of the day. In a see-saw battle Hall had the upper hand as he was 200 points ahead of Kothari, but a missed follow on saw Kothari take the game away.

After scraping through in the first match, Kothari fell to B. Bhaskar in the next match. Bengaluru’s Bhaskar had a good outing. After winning the first match of the day, defeating Ajeya Prabhakar, Bhaskar thrashed Kothari by 379 points.

Playing at home, the 45-year-old scripted breaks of 108, 119 and 93 to smoothly take the game away from Kothari. Bhaskar ended the day on a positive note pocketing all three matches while securing his place in the pre-quarters. Kothari bounced back from the loss to Bhaskar in fine fashion as he scripted the highest break of the tournament at 315. He defeated compatriot Devendra Joshi 500-272 to end the day with two wins.

Results
Group A: Soheil Vahedi (Irn) bt Shankar Rao (Ind) 503 (59, 86, 69) - 263 (51); Pankaj Advani (Ind) bt Akhilesh Mohan (Fra) 504 (100, 105, 58, 182) -30; Rupesh Shah (Ind) bt S Vahedi 500 (51, 99, 59, 77) - 244 (64),  S Rao bt A Mohan 500 (50) -317.

Group B:  Peter Gilchrist (Sing) bt Dhvaj Haria (Ind) 502 (54, 156, 61) - 485 (134, 56); Siddharth Parikh (Ind) bt Alok Kumar (Ind) 501 (89, 89, 68) -442 (51, 86, 72, 57); A Kumar bt Ben Judge 501 (55, 63) - 176; D Haria bt S Parikh 501 (88, 89, 206 unf.) -315 (94, 53, 57).

Group C: B. Bhaskar (Ind) bt Ajeya Prabhakar (US) 500 (88, 57, 59, 121, 153) - 85; Sourav Kothari (Ind) bt Robert Hall (Eng) 502 (111, 98) - 447 (158, 63); Aung Htay (Mmr) bt Devendra Joshi (Ind) 501 (99, 66, 138) - 137 (69); R Hall bt D Joshi 500 (63, 98, 152) - 491 (101, 64, 68, 175); B Bhaskar bt S Kothari 500 (108, 85, 93, 119) - 121, A Htay bt A Prabhakar 500 (50, 64, 75, 52, 78) - 168 (73); B Bhaskar bt A Htay 500 (173, 117, 57, 103) - 110, S Kothari bt D Joshi 500 (315) -272 (83); R Hall bt A Prabhakar 501 (88, 78, 54, 66) -241.

Group D: Nalin Patel (Eng) bt Jaiveer Dhingra (Ind) 501 (104, 68, 109) - 362 (78, 51, 57); Dhruv Sitwala (Ind) bt Sasan Lashkari (Irn) 501 (103, 73, 62, 87) - 145; Chit Ko Ko (Mmr) bt S. Shrikrishna (Ind) 501 (151, 67, 73, 78) - 347 (114, 102); S Shrikrishna (Ind) bt Sasan Lashkari (Irn) 500 (58) -173; D Sitwala bt N Patel 500 (108, 77, 178, 55) - 192; C Ko Ko bt J Dhingra 501 (61, 73) -414 (88, 64, 71);  J Dhingra bt S Lashkari 501 (113, 111, 53) - 50.

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