Ace Indian cueist Pankaj Advani on Sunday clinched his 17th world title after he thrashed his arch-rival Mike Russell of England in the IBSF World Billiards Championship in Doha.
Advani beat Russell 6-2 (0-155, 150-128, 92-151, 151-0, 151-6, 151-0, 150-58, 150-21) to defend the 150-up format title he had won in Bengaluru last year. The Indian did not have an ideal start to the best-of-11 summit clash as Russell drew first blood with a well-crafted break of 155.
Advani drew parity in the next frame but still seemed to be looking for his best to arrive. The Englishman bounced back with breaks of 84 and 67 to win what was going to be the last frame to his name in the final.
From the fourth frame, the Indian was a transformed player. Advani, winner of maximum number of world titles in any sport by an Indian, increased his total by one more as he dominated the remainder of the final. He clinically constructed lethal breaks of 151, 151, 151, 145 and 110 to completely dismantle his longstanding rival.
Earlier in the tournament, Advani had overcome fellow Indian Rupesh Shah in the semifinals 5-2, while Russell got the better of Singapore’s Peter Gilchrist 5-1.
Advani will be eyeing a ‘Grand Double’ as the lengthier format (long-up) of the IBSF World Billiards Championship 2017 commences on Monday at the same venue.