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Rediff.com  » Sports » Advani, Sethi start well in World Pro billiards

Advani, Sethi start well in World Pro billiards

October 28, 2010 14:54 IST

Reigning champion Pankaj Advani stayed on course for a second successive World Professional Billiards title after securing contrasting wins over compatriot Sushrat Pandia and England's Martin Goodwill on the opening day of the event in Leeds.

In his opening encounter in the five-day championship, Advani produced four century breaks (178, 155, 172 and 125) to score a thumping 1150-167 victory over Pandia in a lop-sided encounter.

Advani, during his 42 visits to the table, hardly broke a sweat in overwhelming the lesser-known opponent.

However, the second match against Goodwill forced Advani to draw on all his experience and score a slender 47 points victory over the Englishman.

Goodwill  was 256 behind Advani's total of 659 with around 30 minutes remaining when he constructed a break of 141 to reduce the deficit to just 115 points.

Advani then scored nine points, and Goodwill two (pot white and double baulk). The Englishman then, with about nine minutes remaining, and 120 behind, made a break of 86 before sinking Advani's cue ball accidentally during a drop cannon.

The Indian then came to the table with just two minutes remaining and scored 13 crucial points without missing any shot to seal the issue.

Advani last year created history by becoming the second Indian, after Geet Sethi, to win the World Pro title at Leeds.

The 25-year-old Bangalorean had won the title in his third attempt having lost the quarter-finals in 2007 and 2008.

Five-time winner Geet Sethi, making his 19th appearance at the event, scored an emphatic 781-397 win over team-mate Siddharth Parikh before humbling England's Bem French 1223-186 at the Northern Snooker Centre.

Sethi, aiming for a sixth World professional title, constructed three century breaks (150, 182 and 108) against Parikh, while in his second match against French, made two century, including 452 in the last session.

Sethi had failed to advance to the knock-out stage in the previous edition last year.

In other matches involving Indians, Rupesh Shah won both his encounters of the day, defeating Bem French 702-239 in the first match and accounting for another Englishman Matthew Sutton 618-414 in the last session.

Saurav Kothari defeated Devendra Joshi 728-280. Joshi, however, won his second match, outclassing Sushrat Pandia 839-299 in 55 visits to the table.

Dhruv Sitwala had a mixed day, winning his first match against Phil Mumford of England 533-480 before losing 283-504 to teammate Ashok Shandilya. However, Shandilya lost his second match to England's David Causier 391-911 in 21 visits.

Nine-time champion and last year's runner-up England's Mike Russell also had a winning start to his title quest, defeating fellow-countryman Ian Williamson 1070-262.

Another title favourite, Singapore's Peter Gilchrist also had a good outing against English players as he dismissed the challenge of Gary Rogers 616-394 in 29 visits before humbling Ian Williamson 961-275 in the second match.

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