Advani advances, Chawla exits World Snooker
Bengaluru: Star Indian cueists Pankaj Advani and Manan Chandra on Wednesday stormed into the last-32 stage as Kamal Chawla crashed out of the Seaways IBSF World Snooker Championships at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, here.
The 2003 world champion Advani overpowered young Tomasz Skalski 4-2, but not before he faced the threat of being knocked.
Skalski surprised Advani, one of the hot-favourites of the tournament, by winning the first two frames 81-49 and 47-37, but the 12-time world title holder bounced back by winning the next four games on the trot.
"What's good about Advani is his composure when things are not going his way. I have seen many players giving up in such situations, but Pankaj is made of different mettle - he revels in crisis and he did yet again," Sree, Advani's brother and sports psychologist said.
Most impressive of the Indians was Chandra who routed last year's runner up Muhammad Asif of Pakistan 4-2.
Chandra chalked up first two frames in his favour, 71-6 and 67-41, but could not win the third, when he seemed all set to pocket the match.
The Pakistani roared back to reduce the deficit to 1-2, winning the third frame 85-28. The Indian then claimed the fifth (67-12), with the overall score reading 3-2 in favour of Chandra.
Keeping his composure, Chandra produced an unblemished display to snooker the chances of Asif 95-0 in the sixth frame with his useful and effective breaks as he interspersed his attacking game and safety play to perfection.
But Adrian Ridley ensured that the Madhya Pradesh cueist Chawla bit the dust as the Australian knocked him out of the championship with a 4-3 victory.
Kamal wrapped up a 3-0 lead but Adrian was unruffled as he came back from the brink to bag the next four frames in a row with breaks of 42 in the sixth and 46 in the decider being the highlight of his gutsy performance.
The 2013 runner-up Zhao Xintong of China had breaks of 81 and 83 enroute to a 4-0 win over Antonis Poullos of Cyprus while Jamie Clarke of Wales produced the highest break of 133 in his 4-1 win over Farhan Mirza of Sweden.