Pankaj Advani, Peter Gilchrist turn it on

The Asian Age.  | Chitrangada D C

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Advani and Gilchrist sealed their last-16 berths winning all five matches of the group stage.

Rupesh Shah won both his matches to secure a place in the last-16 on Saturday. (Photo: R. Samuel)

Bengaluru: Hot favourites Pankaj Advani and Peter Gilchrist marched into the pre-quarter-finals of the points format of the ongoing IBSF World Billiards Championship at the the Karnataka State Billiards Association on Saturday.

Advani and Gilchrist sealed their last-16 berths winning all five matches of the group stage. Also topping the table with five wins was Karnataka’s B. Bhaskar.

After winning both matches on the first day, Advani survived a scare from Alok Kumar edging past his compatriot 3-2. Kumar started off with a flourish taking the opening frame 150-53 scripting a solid break of 134.

Caught on the wrong foot, Advani fought hard to take the second 150-117, as he crafted a break of 92 in his seventh visit to the table to level the match and then took the third frame in convincing fashion to take the lead.

But the 48-year-old Alok gave Advani a run for his money as he bounced back taking the frame 117-152 to drag the match into the decider.

With the match reaching its business end the 15-time world champion showed his class as he snatched victory with an unfinished break of 115, to take the frame 151-94.

In his second match, the 31-year-old Advani pulled off a 3-1 win over Myanmar’s Chit Ko Ko. Though the 32-year-old Ko opened with a break of 128, Advani took the frame crafting an unfinished break of 150. The Myanmar cueist bounced back to win the next 150-65. But the home favourite pulled up his socks to win the next two frames in convincing manner.

In his final match of the day, Advani sailed past Sasan Lashkari 3-0.

Meanwhile, Gilchrist stamped his class in style. The newly crowned champion strolled past France’s Akhilesh Mohan 3-0, before taking on Siddharth Parikh.

Having lost to Parikh in a group match in the Long-Up format, the 48-year-old Gilchrist looked a little wary on taking his nemesis. Though Mumbai’s Parikh put up a strong fight, Gilchrist was way too powerful, winning 3-1.

Bhaskar makes his move
Elsewhere, Bhaskar also had a gala outing as he won all his matches to top the group. Bhaskar, who is yet to win a major title, secures a last-16 spot with a clean slate. Bhaskar, opened his day with a 3-1 win over England’s Nalin Patel.
In his second match, the 45-year-old dragged it down to the final frame, before defeating Myanmar’s Aung Htay 3-2. Finishing off the day with a flourish Bhaskar took the final frame, scripting an unfinished break of 151.

Results:
Group A: Pankaj Advani (Ind) bt Alok Kumar (Ind) 3-2 (53-150 (134), 150-117, 151 (114) -20, 117-152 (105), 151 (115 unf.) -94); Jaiveer Dhingra (Ind) bt Sasan Lashkari (Irn) 3-0 (151-94, 150-57, 151-81); Chit Ko Ko (Myn) bt Thawat Sujaritthurakarn (Thai) 3-2 (151-84, 151-91, 124-151 (137), 61-152, 150-48); A Kumar bt S Lashkari 3-0 (151-39, 153-35, 151-75); Thawat S bt J Dhingra 3-2 (150-60, 150 (104) -30, 30-150 (111), 62-150, 150-104); P Advani bt C Ko Ko 3-1 (150 (150 unf) -128, 65-150 (117), 150 (106) -112, 150-39); P. Advani bt S. Lashkari 3-0 (152 (141)-0, 152-20, 154 (unf)-0)
Group B: Aung Htay (Mmr) bt Brijesh Damani (Ind) 3-1 (28-150, 152-111, 153-85, 151-82); Dhruv Sitwala (Ind) bt Mohamed Aslam (SL) 3-0 (150-29, 150-7, 151-63);  B Bhaskar (Ind) bt N Patel (Eng) 3-1 (150 (143) -20, 136-150, 150-145, 150-2); B Bhaskar bt A Htay 3-2 (0-150, 152 (108) -75, 151-88, 66-151 (141), 151 (151unf.) -4); B Damani bt M Aslam 3-1 (153 (119) -0, 150-96, 111-151, 151 (128) -25); D Sitwala bt N Patel 3-0 (first 2 frames awarded to Sitwala as Patel reported late for the match; 151-133);
Group C: Rupesh Shah (Ind) bt Ajeya Prabhakar (USA) 3-0 (151-43, 150-49, 150-58); Peter Gilchrist (Sing) bt Akhilesh Mohan (Fra) 3-0 (150-60, 151-34, 152-26); Siddharth Parikh (Ind) bt Dhvaj Haria (94-150, 150-7, 150-13, 124-150 (145), 150-83); P Gilchrist bt S Parikh 3-1 (150-65, 12-150, 150 (115) -110, 155 (153 unf.) -0); R Shah bt A Mohan 3-0 (150-13, 151-74, 150-16);  D Haria bt A Prabhakar 3-0 (150-67, 151-44, 150-113).
Group D: Praput Chaithanasakun (Thai) bt Devendra Joshi (Ind) 3-0 (151-35, 150-144, 150 (111) -126); Robert Hall (Eng) bt Shankar Rao (Ind) 3-1 (85-150, 152-3, 151 (151 UNF.) -5, 151 (138) -30); Sourav Kothari (Ind) bt Soheil Vahedi (Irn) 3-1 (151 (137) -10, 150-22, 114-151, 152-8); Praput C bt S Kothari 3-1 (18-150, 150-31, 152-104, 150-2); S Vahedi bt S Rao 3-0 (152-137, 150-127, 152-116); R Hall bt D Joshi 3-2 (141-151, 100-157, 150-44, 150 (121) -13, 150-121); S Kothari bt S Rao 3-0 (150-22, 150-54, 150-52).

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