Pankaj Advani back in the frame

The Asian Age.  | Chitrangada D C

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Kothari needed seven breaks, with a maximum of 50 to take the second frame as well.

Pankaj Advani in action against Jaiveer Dhingra in Bengaluru on Friday. (Photo: Asian Age)

Bengaluru: Putting behind his untimely exit from the long-up format, former champion Pankaj Advani got off to a winning start in the Points Format of the World Billiards Championship at the Karnataka State Billiards Association, on Friday.

Advani pocketed both his opening matches, defeating youngster Jaiveer Dhingra in the opening match 3-1, before overcoming Thawat Sujaritthurakarn in the second.

Playing at home, Advani was in his element as he scripted a solid break of 109 to take the opening frame against Dhingra 152-12.

The 31-year-old then pocketed the second frame needing just three visits to the table, as he crafted a break of 146 to grab a 2-0 lead.

But the 23-year-old Dhingra delayed the defending champion’s win in the third frame. Dhingra eked out a break of 69 to hold back Advani, taking the frame 151-70.

But Bengaluru’s Golden Boy bounced right back to take the fourth to wrap up the match in one and a half hours.

Following this Advani notched up a second victory defeating Sujaritthurakarn 3-1.

Gilchrist in groove
Meanwhile, five-time and newly crowned champion Peter Gilchrist, also won both his opening matches. In a rematch of Thursday’s marathon semifinal win, Gilchrist took the honours as Rupesh Shah went down quietly 3-1, unlike his previous match against the Singaporean. In his second match, the 48-year-old effortlessly walked past USA’s Ajeya Prabhakar 3-0.

Sourav Kothari, meanwhile, bounced back from his heartbreak with a convincing opening win over Devendra Joshi.

Mixed day for Kothari
Kothari, who was ruthlessly crushed by Gilchrist in his maiden World Championship final Thursday night, was in rampaging form as he rolled over Joshi 3-0 in the best-of-five frames discipline.

The 32-year-old took the opening frame with a single break of 152 without Joshi getting to open his account. Kothari needed seven breaks, with a maximum of 50 to take the second frame as well.

Joshi made a feeble attempt to stop Kothari, taking the lead for the first time with breaks of 44 and 93. But the national champion swiftly got back scripting a break of 56 to win without dropping a single frame.

Elsewhere, Karnataka’s B Bhaskar got off on a winning note as he clinched as easy 3-0 win over Mohamed Aslam of Sri Lanka. Bhaskar opened with a break of 140, to take the opening frame 154-16.

The 45-year-old was in rampaging form as he took the next two frames scripting century breaks of 101 and 144, without letting Aslam settle at the table for even one frame.  Bhaskar won his next game beating Brijesh Damani 3-1.