Pankaj Advani, the Indian billiard and snooker champion created another history by winning the Asian 6 Red Snooker title, in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. The ace cueist has now become the first player in the world to win both the world and continental titles in 6-red snooker at the same time.
The two times winner of the IBSF World Six-Red Snooker Champion has marked his authority again in the shorter format of the game, zooming past the top seeded Malaysian Keen Hoh Moh by the 7-5 margin. The Golden Boy of India surpassed the challenge of his countryman Aditya Mehta in the semifinal and sealed the berth for the final of his first continental title, by the 6-1 margin.
In the final, where the fortunes fluctuated from one end to another and a match that see-sawed from beginning to end, the 30-year old Indian started with the utmost poise and won the first frame by 39-4.In the second frame, the highest ranked Malaysian bounced back brilliantly, scoring a break of 51 and eventually won the frame by the 51-6 margin.
As we have said earlier, two were going blow for blow; the third frame belonged to the Indian, and he eclipsed past Moh by the 40-14 score line. In the fourth frame, the Malaysian again gave Advani a run for his money and won the frame by 37-0.
It was in the fifth and sixth frame, where the Indian who had been the World Champion in the both format of the game, gained a lead of two games, clearing the table 41-7 and 44-8 respectively.
The seventh frame again remained to Keen Hoh Moh, who bounced back hard to win the frame by only 38-21 margin. As the match became too close to call, Advani held his nerves intact and won the eighth frame by 45- 24, securing a 45 break.
As the match could not get any much closer, Advani was leading by two games before the start of the ninth frame. But the Malaysian again trimmed down the lead after winning the frame by a thumping 35-1 margin. In the 10th frame, Pune-born cueist again extended his lead to a difference of two frames by clinching the 10th frame by the 45-36 score line.
In the 13-game final, Advani now just needed to outscore his Malaysian opponent for one frame, but Keen Hoh Moh’s never give up attitude kept him at bay. Moh won the 11th frame by the 38-15 margin and curbed the lead to 6-5. But in the 12th frame, the much anticipated moment finally came when Advani won the frame by 53-24 and conquered the continental title for the very first time, which is also his first title of the year.
The ecstatic Advani later talked to the press and said, “It’s my first individual Asian snooker championship, so the feeling is unreal. Having missed out on the 15-red Asian snooker title last month made this mission for me to accomplish. Winning it the same year as my world title in the Six Red sends me over the moon.”
The current pin-up boy of the Indian billiards and snooker game will now lead his country in the team event along with his compatriots Manan Chandra, Aditya Mehta and Kamal Chawla .
Pankaj Advani, who started his career as a Billiards player, turned into a professional Snooker player in 2012. After winningthe national, Asian and World titles in Billiards, Advani won theISBF World 6 Red Snooker championship as well in 2014. Pankaj is the only cueist in the worldever to win the professional titles of both the formats of Billiard (point and time) as well as the long and short formats of snooker (15 Red standard and 6 Red).