World IBSF champion Pankaj Advani overcame defending champion Yasin Merchant 7-2 to clinch his maiden title in the CCI Platinum Jubilee Open Snooker Tournament for the P D Avasia Trophy at the CCIs Wilson Jones Billiards Room on Friday.
On a roll following a rewarding year gone by,tournament top seed,ONGCs Advani sustained his form to get the better of twice Asian champion Merchant 84-62,76-34,65-1,0-118,78-17,4-102,60-28,73-27,59-15.
Advani got off to a dream start and surged to a 3-0 lead in the best-of-13 frames championship round to sound an early warning. But Merchant pulled the fourth frame back with a significant break of 71 though it came after many attempts.
Though Merchant trailed 1-4,after Advani clinched the fifth frame,another significant break of 60 in the sixth helped him close in at 2-4. But Advani capitalized on Merchants serious blemishes including missing the black in an ideal position in the eighth frame while on course for a big break,and the pink in the ninth.
There was good potting and safety play in this match,but it was not the best final in terms of quality,explained Advani,who earned an additional Rs. 5,000 for the highest break in the competition with a 135 clearance in his opening frame of the tournament.
I didnt expect a 7-2 verdict. You cannot be complacent against a player of Yasins calibre. He was striking better than me. But the first two frames were crucial. Had Yasin won them it would have probably been a closer contest,added Advani.
I took it frame by frame,but I made too many mistakes. Pankajs safety play was brilliant and he capitalized on the chances that came his way,said Merchant.