Pankaj Advani loses World Billiards title
Pune: India ace cueist Pankaj Advani failed to defend his IBSF Billiards title in the Point format, going down 0-6 to nine-time world champion England`s Mike Russell in a one-sided final.
Russell, who lost to Advani in the World Professional Billiards championship in Leeds last year, produced an impeccable display of cue control and dipping to beat the seven-time world champion Indian 151-129, 151-00, 151-29, 150-20, 151-09, 151-125.
Earlier in the day, Advani survived a scare against Singapore`s Peter Gilchrist in the semifinal to set up a title clash with Russell.
Russel had defeated another Indian and eight-time world champion Geet Sethi in the last-four stage at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana Centre.
In the summit clash, Russell maintained his country`s domination and scored as many as four 100 breaks (129, 145, 128 and 149) to rip apart the challenge of 24-year-old Advani.
Russell kept Advani under pressure right from the start with some lovely positional play and with touch of softness dipped the balls in different pockets much to the enjoyment of the audience.
With writing already on the wall, Russell picked up the decider 151-125 to raise his cue in delight to the beaming English contingent.
In the semifinals, Advani edged past Gilchr\ist 5-4 in an extremely close contest, while Russell displayed excellent show of cushionwork and class potting to beat Sethi 5-2.
The first semifinal between Advani and Gilchrist was a well contested tie. Gilchrist took the first two frames with facile potting to surge ahead which included breaks of 140 and 88.
The Bangalore lad reduced the deficit by wresting the third and the fourth frames but the Singaporean was equal to the task when he pocketed the fifth and the sixth frames to lead again by 4-2 frames.
But the two-time world champion Gilchrist faded in the fag end as Advani chalked up an impressive breaks of 120, 77 and 152 in the seventh, eighth and ninth frames respectively to edge him out of the contest.
In the Sethi-Russell encounter, Russell won the first frame with a superb break of 145 but Sethi peaked at the right time with impeccable cue control to win the next two frames with breaks of 143 and 137.
World professional billiards runner-up Russell than came from behind and pocketed the next four frames with a scoreline of 152-00 151-36 150-07 152-50 to leave Sethi shocked.