Ace Indian cueist Pankaj Advani stormed into the semifinals of the 150-Up format of the IBSF World Billiards Championship here today.
Ten-time world champion Advani beat another Indian Dhruv Sitwala 5–2 [150 (150)-00, 152 (152)-00, 151-05, 89-150, 107-151 (151), 151 (123)-69, 150 (96)-128] in the quarterfinals.
Multiple-time world champion Peter Gilchrist also made it to the semifinals by defeating Indian national champion Sourav Kothari five games to two in best of nine games.
Gilchrist will play another Indian Dhvaj Haria and Advani will lock horns with Myanmar’s Aung Htay in semifinals tomorrow.
After having lost to Sourav in the quarterfinals of Long-Up format of the tournament, Advani was determined to push his way into semifinals of 150-Up format. He pocketed the first three games and then conceded the next two before bagging the next two games, to send Dhruv packing home.
The first three games, Advani won by a huge margin of 150-0, 150-0 and 150-5, as he decimated the hopes of Dhruv at initial stages of the match.
Not to be cowed down, Dhruv registered 150-89 and 150-107 wins, with breaks of 70 and 151 in the fourth and fifth games.
However, Advani clinched the match 150-69 and 150-128 in sixth and seventh games.
Earlier in the day, Advani pulverized compatriot Devendra Joshi 4-0 in best of seven games in a pre-quarterfinal match.
In a worldclass display, Gilchrist did not allow his opponent to take charge of the match as he outwitted the Indian player 150-144, 150-38 and 150-60.
However, Gilchrist lost the fourth and fifth games to Sourav who made a comeback of sorts by clinching 150-120 and 150-82, with help of 113 and 80 breaks, compared to Gilchrist’s 104 and 146.
As Sourav reduced the gap 2-3, Gilchrist was ruthless in capitalising on Sourav’s mistakes to pick the red or missing on cannons, at crucial junctures of the match.
The deciding seventh game was a treat to watch as Gilchrist, who was trailing 14 points against 54 by Sourav, scripted a match-winning break of 96 to enter into the semifinals.
Earlier in the day, Gilchrist trounced India’s Brijesh Damani 4-2 in a best of seven games to storm into the quarterfinals.
Others to storm into the semifinals are Htay, who defeated Alok Kumar five games to one, and India’s Dhvaj, who outwitted Myanmar’s Chit Ko Ko 5-3 in a scintillating neck-and-neck encounter.