Pankaj Advani sets up Aung Htay semis

The Asian Age.  | Chitrangada D C

Sports, In Other sports

Advani looked to take the next as he led 107 before a missed shot saw Sitwala back on the table.

Aung Htay in action in the quarter-finals in Bengaluru. (Photo: Shashidhar B.)

Bengaluru: Getting back into the rhythm of the game, Pankaj Advani showed his mettle as he sealed a semifinal berth in the Points Format of the World Billiards Championship at the Karnataka State Billiards Association, on Sunday.

Having effortlessly won his pre-quarter-final defeating compatriot Devendra Joshi 4-0, Advani followed it up with a 5-2 victory over Dhruv Sitwala, ousting him in a little over three hours.

The defending champion set up a semi-final clash with Myanmar’s Aung Htay, who entered the last-four stage with an easy 5-1 victory over India’s Alok Kumar.

Advani, who had lost in the quarter-finals of the long-up format, looked to be in form as he entered the semis on the back of convincing victories.

In the best of nine frames, the home lad opened with two back-to-back century breaks. Advani took the first frame with a break of 150 and followed it up with another 150 without Sitwala even getting on to the scoresheet.

The Bengaluru cueist won the third frame as well 150-5 but just as it looked as he would wrap up the match easily Sitwala fought back to win the next two. The 44-year-old Sitwala scripted a break of 70 to make the scoreline 3-1.

Advani looked to take the next as he led 107 before a missed shot saw Sitwala back on the table. Grabbing the opportunity Sitwala crafted a break of 151 to make it a close affair. With Advani needing just one frame to win the game, his good friend Sitwala made it worthwhile as he led the frame. But Bengaluru’s Golden Boy bounced back with a break of 96 to wrap up the game.

Satisfied after making it to the semis, Advani said, “I’m happy as long as I am through. It takes time to get back in touch and it’s tough to switch from one format to the other. I played well the whole day today. I started well against Dhruv. It’s always tough playing against a good friend.”

Meanwhile, in the adjacent table, in a repeat of the Long-Up final, Peter Gilchrist was locked in duel with Sourav Kothari. Though Kothari looked to avenge his final loss, the national champion made a series of blunders to crash out 5-1 to Gilchrist.

In the other quarterfinal, Dhvaj Haria fought past Myanmar’s Chit Ko Ko 5-3 to set up a semifinal clash with Gilchrist.

Semifinal line-up: P Advani vs A Htay; P Gilchrist vs D Haria

Results: Quarterfinals: Pankaj Advani (Ind) bt Dhruv Sitwala (Ind) 5-2 (150 (150) -0, 152 (152) -0, 151-5, 89-150 , 107-151 (151), 151 (123) -69, 150 (96 unf.) -128); Aung Htay (Myn) bt Alok Kumar (Ind) 5-1 (152-65, 128-150, 151-132, 151-105, 152 -91, 150-91); Peter Gilchrist (Sing) bt Sourav Kothari (Ind) 5-2 (150 (112 unf) -144 (108), 150 (115 unf) -38, 150-60, 120-150 (117 unf), 82-150 (146), 150-27, 152 (138 unf) -54).

Dhvaj Haria (Ind) bt Chit Ko Ko (Myn) 5-3 (30-151, 153 (unf) -0, 51-152, 152 (unf)-0, 152-56, 87-151 (145 unf), 150 (126 unf)-84, 151-101).