Advani, Merchant poised to enter knockout stage

Bangalore: Ace Indian cueists Pankaj Advani and Yasin Merchant are on the threshold of moving into the knockout stages of the IBSF World Snooker Championship following clinical victories over their respective opponents on the second day of the event.

Just a win away to enter quarters, the seven-time world champion Advani exhibited fine form to demolish the challenge of Polish cueist Marcin Nitschke in four straight frames.

Advani won the first frame 101-1 and maintained his tempo to pocket the next three 61-23 100-3 108-23. Advani`s break of 95 in the third frame dealt a telling blow on Marcin, who failed to recover thereafter.

Yasin Merchant, who lost to England`s Martin O`Donnel 3-4 on Tuesday, still has a chance of making to the knockout stages of the championship.

Merchant, playing his last tournament went down to Martin 12-73 29-56 66-54 77-1 66-4 38-77 24-80 in a see-saw battle.

The two-time Asian snooker champion Merchant has to beat Syria`s Omar Alkojah, who has had a mixed tournament so far, to make it to the next level.

Alkojah was beaten by Martin 2-4 in his first encounter yesterday. The Syrian, however, regrouped his resources to beat Sweden`s Bairaq Al-Urfy 4-1 in his next match.

India`s Alok Kumar registered his second win out of three round robin matches he has played so far in Group E, trouncing Canada`s Jason Williams 4-2.


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