Advani Storms Into National Snooker Quarters

Advani Storms Into National Snooker Quarters

India's poster boy of cue sport Pankaj Advani posted back to back wins with identical scorelines of 4-0 to storm into the quarterfinals of the Senior National Snooker Championship at the Bengal Rowing Club today.

In the quarters tomorrow, Advani will face Railways' Faisal Khan who bounced back from a two frame deficit to upset former Asian champion Alok Kumar 4-2.

"It's a big match of course. So far it's been a fine tournament for me and I'll hope to take the positives," Khan, who was a member of the gold medal winning Asian team that beat Pakistan last year, said.

The Delhi lad said he had beaten Advani in the quarters en route to the title in an invitational meet in Pune, 2008.

"I'd also beaten him in the six-red snooker national in Chandigarh in 2010. But he's going great here, let's see what happens but I won't give up easily."

The holder of 12 world titles, Advani, began the day ousting Bihar's Anupam Jha with utmost ease in the last 32.

The 29-year-old returned in the evening to defeat Delhi's Sandeep Gulati when he posted breaks of 71, 62, 52 and 72 for another easy win.

Second seed Kamal Chawla snapped the dream run of unheralded Delhi youngster Avinash Kumar with an easy 4-0 win, while third seed Manan Chandra survived a scare against Shivam Arora of Bihar before posting a 4-2 win.

Earlier in the last 32, Avinash had defeated former India player Rafath Habib of the Railways 4-3.

Meanwhile, 24-year-old Arantxa Sanchis of Maharashtra annexed the women's billiards title with a 4-1 win against an experienced Meenal Thakur of his home state.

24-year-old Varun Madan produced the upset of the day when he ousted local hope Brijesh Damani in a nail-biting 4-3 finish.

The Delhi lad was routed 0-101, 04-63, 37-72 in the first, third and fourth frames as he trailed 1-3 before showing nerves of steel to make a stunning comeback and level 3-3.

The decider went down to the wire as Varun after trailing by 18 points levelled it by displaying amazing potting skills and sealed the issue in a tiebreaker.

The quarterfinal line-up: Pankaj Advani v Faisal Khan; Dharminder Lilly vs Shahbaaz Adil Khan; Manan Chandra vs Devendra Joshi; Varun Madan vs Kamal Chawla.

Next Story : Saina, Srikanth Among Nine Shuttlers to Reach Quarters in Lucknow
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