By Sports Reporter/Doha
Defending champion Pankaj Advani stayed unbeaten in the round robin stages, without dropping a single game, to reach the quarter-finals of the 2017 IBSF World Billiards 150Up Championship as the top seed.
Yesterday, Advani overcame a resistant rival, in compatriot Brijesh Damani, in the last of his round robin stage matches for a clean record in the tournament.
The second game especially was crucial where Damani countered the 32-year-old from the Indian city of Bengaluru with two worthy breaks of 54 and 61 points to score 147. But missing an easy cannon cost Damani dearly, as Advani made the most of the opportunity to walk away with the game and eventually the match.
Advani will now face compatriot Dhruv Sitwala in today’s quarter-final.
Former champions Mike Russell of England and Peter Gilchrist of Singapore, along with Nay Thway of Myanmar too advanced to the quarter-finals with a round of bye in the first stage of the knockouts.
Apart from Advani, the remaining six players of the Indian contingent — Dhvaj Haria, Sitwala, Rupesh Shah, Siddharth Parikh, Sourav Kothari and Damani — also had made it to the knockouts, and so did Robert Hall of England and Aung Htay of Myanmar.
However, these eight were paired down to four by the end of the first round of knockouts last evening.
Parikh knocked out Myanmar’s much-experienced Htay 4-2 to set up a clash against Gilchrist.
Parikh began in scintillating form with a break of 119, but couldn’t finish it, with Htay making full use of the opportunity with two breaks of 96 and 56 to go one up.
The Indian then went 3-1 up after stitching together breaks of 92, 67 and 102, before losing the fifth. However, armed with a 90-point break, he booked his spot in the next round.
In two of the closest games of the evening, Kothari beat compatriot Damani 4-3, while Rupesh Shah blanked England’s Hall in the seventh game to snatch the quarters spot 4-3.
While Kothari takes on Russell today, Shah will face Thway in the last eight.
In another all-Indian duel, Sitwala beat Haria 4-2 to set up a quarter-final clash with Advani.
DAY TWO RESULTS (150-Up)
* Peter Gilchrist (Singapore) beat Dhruv Sitwala (India) 3-2
* Mike Russell (England) beat Rupesh Shah (India) 3-2
* Ihab al-Salih (Iraq) beat Abdulkarim Maksoud (Syria) 3-0
* Siddhart Parikh (India) beat Steve Mifsud (Australia) 3-0
* Aidna Murray (Ireland) beat Yazan Alhadad (Syria) 3-0
* Robert Hall (England) beat Khamis al-Obaidli (Qatar) 3-0
* Pankaj Advani (India) beat Brijesh Damani (India) 3-0
* Chit Ko Ko (Myanmar) beat Peter Gilchrist (Singapore) 3-2
* Aung Htay (Myanmar) beat Abdulkarim Maksoud (Syria) 3-0
* Dhvaj Haria (India) beat Yazan Alhadad (Syria) 3-0
* Dhruv Sitwala (India) beat Khamis al-Obaidli (Qatar) 3-0
* Nay Thway Oo (Myanmar) beat Sourav Kothari (India) 3-2
* Brijesh Damani (India) beat Ihab al-Salih (Iraq) 3-0
* Mike Russell (England) beat Aidan Murray (Ireland) 3-0
* Siddharth Parikh (India) beat Aung Htay (Myanmar) 4-2
* Sourav Kothari (India) beat Brijesh Damani (India) 4-3
* Dhruv Sitwala (India) beat Dhvaj Haria (India) 4-2
* Rupesh Shah (India) beat Robert Hall (England) 4-3
Quarter-finals (Today, 10am)
* Pankaj Advani (India) vs Dhruv Sitwala (India)
* Rupesh Shah (India) vs Nay Thway Oo (Myanmar)
* Peter Gilchrist (Singapore) vs Siddharth Parikh (India)
* Sourav Kothari (India) vs Mike Russell (England)
Semifinals start at 4pm today
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