Thursday, Jun 30, 2022 | Last Update : 10:32 AM IST

  Sports   In Other sports  08 Dec 2016  Sourav Kothari’s class act

Sourav Kothari’s class act

THE ASIAN AGE. | CHITRANGADA D C
Published : Dec 8, 2016, 2:58 am IST
Updated : Dec 8, 2016, 6:24 am IST

Advani falls in quarter-finals, Gilchrist to meet Rupesh in last four.

Sourav Kothari en route to his quarter-final victory over Pankaj Advani in Bengaluru. (Photo: Shashidhar B.)
 Sourav Kothari en route to his quarter-final victory over Pankaj Advani in Bengaluru. (Photo: Shashidhar B.)

Bengaluru: Relief spread across Sourav Kothari’s face after he put up a stunning display to oust overwhelming favourite Pankaj Advani 1000-644 in the quarter-finals of the Long-Up format of the ISBF World Billiards championship at the Karnataka State Billiards Association here on Wednesday.

Kothari, determined to avenge his loss to Advani at the same tournament in the 2008 Worlds here at KSBA, made perfect shots as he stopped the Advani juggernaut in its tracks.

Kothari overcame the costly miss of the red pot before emerging winner and setting up a semi-final clash with compatriot Dhvaj Haria, who defeated Myanmar’s Aung Htay in another quarter-final.

Advani who had not lost a single match in the tournament cruised to a solid lead of 200 points, just half an hour into the match, with opening breaks of 66 and 172. Despite lagging behind, Kothari crafted a break of 198 to bounce back into the game.

The two rivals went neck-to-neck before the reigning national champion scripted a break of 293 to move into a massive lead. The 32-year-old Kothari was on the verge of victory, but similar to 2008 he misjudged the shot as he missed the red pot.

It probably brought back the suppressed memories from eight years ago. Though Kothari held a 400-point lead, the 15-time world champion couldn’t be discounted at that stage.

Advani came up with a quick break of 100 before agonisingly missing the red pot. It was all over and it could be seen as the former champion’s frustration was clearly visible.

Kothari made an unfinished break of 51 to wrap up the match in three hours and forty minutes and end Advani’s hopes of another title at home.

Relieved with the win, Kothari said, “I am extremely happy. The minute I missed the red pot, memories of my 2008 match came flooding back. It was a tall asking order for Pankaj, but he is always capable of turning it around and putting the pressure back on me.

“Against a player like Pankaj you have to keep hitting the shots the 293-break was the key to my victory. I owe this win to my father (Manoj Kothari) as a lot of shots I played today were taught by him.”

In other matches, former champion Peter Gilchrist walked into the semi-final with a crushing victory over England’s Robert Hall 1000-347, while Rupesh Shah defeated 16-year-old S. Shrikrishna 1002-646.

Results: Quarter-finals: Sourav Kothari (Ind) bt Pankaj Advani (Ind) 1000 (55, 198, 68, 181, 293, 51 unf.) -644 (66, 172, 96, 68, 65, 100); Dhvaj Haria (Ind) vs Aung Htay (Myn) 1001 (81, 68, 133, 121, 157, 87) -677 (61, 80, 88, 69, 85, 73); Peter Gilchrist (Sing) bt Robert Hall (Eng) 1000 (164, 83, 93, 144, 138, 87, 97, 100) -347 (91, 131); Rupesh Shah (Ind) bt S Shrikrishna (Ind) 1002 (118, 91, 216, 74, 68) -646 (85, 110, 72, 50).

Pre-quarter-finals: P. Advani bt Alok Kumar (Ind) 750 (130, 157, 86, 50) - 547 (99, 69, 69, 99); S Kothari bt Jaiveer Dhingra (Ind) 750 (208, 133) - 432 (66, 89); A Htay bt Chit Ko Ko (Mmr) 750 (72, 87, 59, 56, 70, 114, 60) - 697 (104, 63, 100, 55); D Haria bt Shankar Rao (Ind) 750 (86, 104, 107, 131, 79) - 381 (64); S Suryanarayanan bt B Bhaskar (Ind) 750 (81, 83, 51, 122, 90, 50) - 721 (57, 58, 325, 50, 57); R Shah bt Siddharth Parikh (Ind) 750 (56, 200, 101, 113, 89) - 470 (143); P Gilchrist bt Soheil Vahedi (Irn) 750 (86, 157, 212, 56) -299 (87, 67); R Hall bt Dhruv Sitwala (Ind) 752 (73, 60, 64, 83, 119, 108, 91) - 632 (62, 79, 230, 69).

Tags: pankaj advani, peter gilchrist, sourav kothari