Pankaj Advani Falters At Final Hurdle In World Billiards
New Delhi, August 29: Indian cueist Pankaj Advani faltered in the finals once again as England's Mike Russell successfully defended his Point format title in the IBSF World Billiards Championship being played in Carlow, Ireland.
In a repeat of last year's final in the Point format, former champion Advani went down 3-6 to ten-time World champion Russell in the summit clash last night at The Ivy Rooms.
In the last edition of the IBSF championship played in Pune, Advani had failed to defend both his titles and lost to English cueist Russell in both point and time formats.
In 2008, Advani had won both the titles in the Point and Time formats, defeating compatriots Geet Sethi and Devendra Joshi, respectively.
In the final, Russell controlled every thing from the beginning and demonstrated a fantastic billiards in first four games where he produced four unfinished breaks (three 150s and one 148) to almost outplay Advani.
In the fifth frame, Russell again scored a break of 114 with just one game away from lifting the title.
However, in the sixth game, a small mistake on an attempt of cannon kept him on wait for some more time as the Indian bounced back with a fantastic 143 break (unfinished) to narrow the deficit.
One game win boosted Advani's confidence as the seven-time world champion again penalised the Englishman with 120 unfinished for his mistake on cannon. Already pocketed two games, Advani smashed an unfinished break of 143 in the next game to put Russell on the backfoot.
The difference was getting less and it was an alarm for Russell, who instantly charged up himself when Advani left his cueball along with red behind the balk line by mistake and Russell converted that chance into an unfinished break of 143 to seal the match 6-3 in his favour.
"Advani bounced back brilliantly and in such crucial situation producing three unfinished breaks were really remarkable," said Russell after the match.
"I played little loose in the sixth frame, which costs me three games but I was assured with my techniques and I did," he added.
Time format will begin from Monday and most of the Asian countries, including India, are not participating in the event, but 30 players will play for the title.
The reason being most of the Indian players including Advani and veteran Geet Sethi felt that the Time format will not survive for long and it's better to popularise Point format among the participating nations.
Earlier, Russell defeated India's Sourav Kothari in the semifinal, where he was trailing 1-3 and back to back three unfinished breaks advanced him into the final.
From the other side, Advani defeated Praput Chaithanasukan of Thailand in the other last-four match. PTI