Leeds: Former champion Pankaj Advani, returning to the three-ball sport after a two-season break, had a mixed start as he lost to 2013 winner Peter Gilchrist of Singapore 2-3 but defeated Brian Harvey 3-0 in his next outing as the World Billiards Championship (points format) started here Monday.
Advani led 2-0 against Gilchrist in the best-of-five frames, 150-up match, on breaks of 101 unfinished and 89. However, Gilchrist, the Englishman settled in Singapore, hit back to take the next three frames aided by runs of 107, 75 and 83.
In his next outing in Group B, Advani had few problems getting past Harvey as he marked his win with breaks of 52, 58 unfinished, 60 and 88.
Other Indians made strong starts with Raj Kumar, Jaiveer Dhingra, Dhvaj Haria, Siddharth Parik, Balachandra Bhaskar, Alok Kumar, S. Venkateswaran, Dhruv Sitwala, Rupesh Shah, Sourav Kothari, Ashok Shandilya and Arun Agarwal winning both their matches on the opening day of the championship.
The results (League - India matches):
Group A: Raj Kumar bt Todd Hayward (AUS) 3-2; Aditya Agarwal bt Hayward 3-1; Raj Kumar bt Wayne Doyle (IRE) 3-1; David Causier (ENG) bt Agarwal 3-1. Group B: Peter Gilchrist (SIN) bt Pankaj Advani 3-2; Advani bt Harvey 3-0. Group C: Jaiveer Dhingra bt Arthur Winn (ENG) 3-0; Dhingra bt Shane Bartelette (IRE) 3-0. Group D: Dhvaj Haria bt Gaye Jones (ENG) 3-0; Haria bt Steve Brookshaw (ENG) 3-1. Group E: Siddharth Parikh bt Eddie Fielding (ENG) 3-0; Parikh bt Phil Mumford (ENG) 3-1. Group F: Balachandra Bhaskar bt Chris Taylor (ENG) 3-0; Bhaskar bt Darren Clark (ENG) 3-0. Group G: Alok Kumar bt Peter Atkinson (ENG) 3-0; S. Venkateswaran bt Adam Clarke (ENG) 3-0; Kumar bt Clarke 3-0; S. Venkateswaran bt Jamie Barker (ENG) 3-0. Group H: Dhruv Sitwala bt Jonathan Marwood (ENG) 3-0; Sitwala bt Felix Knoll (AUT) 3-0. Group I: Rupesh Shah bt Carl Walter Steiner (AUT) 3-0; Shah bt Ross Doyle (IRE) 3-0. Group J: Sourav Kothari bt Devendra Joshi 3-2; Joshi bt Steve Lock (ENG) 3-0; Kothari bt Stephen Kershaw (ENG) 3-0. Group K: Arun Agarwal bt Sushrut Pandia 3-1; Ashok Shandilya bt Mark Hill (ENG) 3-0; Shandilya bt Phil Davis (ENG) 3-0; Agarwal bt Davis 3-0; Pandia bt Hill 3-0.