Mumbai: Indian No. 2 Pankaj Advani (PSPB) stamped his supremacy with an impressive win against National Champion Aditya Mehta in the World Snooker Qualifiers, a BSFI National Selection Tournament here on Monday, as both clinched their spots in the upcoming World Snooker Championships.
The 36-year-old Advani, who early last month won the Asian snooker crown, maintained his excellent form and succeeded in winning all 12 matches (6 each in the Y-Camp and Z-Camp). The National runner-up Advani accumulated 10,760 points (3,560 National points, 3,600 points each from Y and Z Camps) to take pole position.
National champion Aditya Mehta (PSPB), who finished with four wins and two defeats, was placed second with 10,156 points (4,000 Nationals, 2,916 Y-Camp, and 3,240 Z-Camp) while in third place was Laxman Rawat (PSPB) with 9,396 points (3,240, 3,240 and 2,916).
Both Advani and Mehta qualified to represent India in the upcoming World Snooker Championships, which is likely to be held in Doha, Qatar in November or December.
The genial genius Advani demonstrated his hunger for success as he reasserted his dominance over Indian No. 1 Mehta by recording a 4-1 win against the lanky Mumbai-based cueist in the concluding round Z-Camp match.
The Bengaluru-based Advani, who had also won the previous outing 4-1, played steadily and mixed caution with aggression. He grabbed every opportunity to put together small useful efforts and managed to dictate terms before going on to wrap up the match with the frame scores reading 80(63)-08, 32-70, 70-00, 86-15, and 68-49 in his favour.
Advani had earlier quashed the challenge from India No. 3 Rawat (PSPB) by pulling through in six frames in an interesting contest. He started with a bang rolling in a neat 139-point break in the first frame and completed a deserving 139-00, 22-61, 84-46, 93-07, 28-74, and 60-31 victory.
Earlier, Mehta scraped past Laxman by a tight 4-3 margin to snatch a crucial fifth win. In an absorbing contest in which the lead repeatedly changed hands, Mehta produced a face-saving run of 61 in the decider to snatch a tense 55-58, 60-16, 80-00, 108(76)-07, 00-104(96), 40-65(55) and (77(61)-14) verdict.
Pushpender Singh (RSPB) with 7883 points and Dhvaj Haria (PSPB) with 7338 points were placed 4th and 5th respectively followed by Neeraj Kumar (RSPB – 6308 points) and Himanshu Jain (TEL – 6266 points).
Results – Men’s Z-Camp (2nd leg): Pankaj Advani (PSPB) beat Aditya Mehta (PSPB) 4-1 (80(63)-08, 32-70, 70-00, 86-15, 68-49); Mehta (PSPB) beat Laxman Rawat (PSPB) 4-3 (55-58, 60-16, 80-00, 108(76)-07, 00-104(96), 40-65(55), (77(61)-14); Pushpender Singh (RSPB) beat Neeraj Kumar (RSPB) 4-1 (66-15, 88(56)-43, 71-14, 50-70, 66-30); Advani (PSPB) beat Rawat (PSPB) 4-2 (139(139)-00, 22-61, 84-46, 93-07, 28-74, 60-31).