Advani sets up title clash with Mehta in Asian Snooker

Doha: Seven-time World champion Pankaj Advani overwhelmed Thailand`s Noppon Saengkham 6-4, while India`s number one snooker player Aditya Mehta prevailed over Hossain Vafaei of Iran 6-3 to set up the title clash of the 28th Asian Snooker Championships here.

Aditya started the semifinal confidently though despite playing against current World Snooker and Asian Under-21 Snooker champion Hossein.

Quickly Aditya obtained 2-0 lead over Hossein as he was not interested to give any loose string to the Iranian. Third frame went much tighter but at the stage where it was suppose to go in favour of Aditya, last black ball wobbled in the jaws and Hossein got his first frame.

Soon Hossein took next two to put Aditya one frame down. Those were the only frames Hossein grabbed as Aditya broke with 75 to level the match 3-all. Shifting the gear, Aditya thereafter kept wrapping frame after frame and sealed the match 6-3 leaving no option for Hossein.

In the other semifinal, Advani started with 1-1 against Noppon and went down 1-2 where Noppon was playing exceptionally well. The Thai cueist controlled the fourth frame too and had a good start to gain the lead but he missed on 47 and the Indian without wasting time sealed the frame with a clearance of 49 points to level it at 2-all.

Again Noppon troubled Advani by winning the next but he replied him in sixth frame with a 60+ break to come at par. Both the cueists took alternate frames to reach at a score of 5-4 in favour of Advani.

In the 10th frame, Advani showed his class for which he is best known. Noppon took initial lead of 49 points and in the single chance that Advani got, he chased Noppon`s score but on 43 points, he landed for a tricky green to pot which he did and went misplaced for brown as his cue ball landed near the cushion behind brown.

Leaving the option to play safe, he brilliantly potted the brown in top pocket and placed correctly for blue to seal the match and confirmed title for India.