Advani routs Joshi to enter last 16

Pune: Four-time champion Pankaj Advani trounced former Asian billiards champion Devendra Joshi 4-0 to storm into the pre-quarterfinals of the 78th Manisha National Snooker championship at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana.

There were no high breaks in the match between the two Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) cueists barring one of 75 by the Bangalore-based Advani in the last frame.

Advani, who clinched the national billiards crown earlier for the sixth time, took the first two frames before Joshi tried to fight his way back.

The senior cueist lost the third by 20 points and was burried in the fourth by Advani`s half-century break. Advani won the match 50-36 80-39 62-42 76-22.

Also moving into the last 16 were top-seeded defending champion Aditya Mehta, qualifier Brijesh Damani, Siddharth Parikh of Railways who shut out seasoned Rupesh Shah and Manan Chandra.

But the best match of the day was between PSPB`s Sourav Kothari and Karnataka cueist M Yogesh Kumar, with the former edging out his rival 4-3 in just over four hours.

With the frame scores level (3-3), Kothari brought off a crucial sequence of 46 to grab the decider 84-17 and win the match.

Kothari held his nerves well to win 35-51 65-8 48-61 65-21 55-73 61-11 84-17.

In the bottom half of the draw, last year`s runner-up Alok Kumar showed impeccable form while beating Sunil Kumar, while Kamal Chawla, the IBSF World No 3, too won 4-0 as the two set up an enticing pre-quarterfinal match-up.