It turned out to be 'a very good Friday' for the cueists from Thailand at the Clube Tennis De Gaspar Dias Miramar, Goa, on the fifth day of 11th ONGC Asian Billiards Championship on Friday.
Down 1-3 games in the best-of-nine quarter final, former Asian and World billiards champion, Praput Chaithanasukan, playing against the defending champion, Alok Kumar of India, grafted a break of 52 in the fifth, to take the game.
Having gained confidence from this fight-back, Praput was in full flow using the top table method of scoring to advantage for an unfinished break of 101, drawing level at 3-3.
In the much-awaited clash between two former world billiard champions, Pankaj Advani of India produced a gem of a century break to gain early ascendancy over Peter Gilchrist of Singapore.
Pankaj had good breaks of 54 in the second and 86 in the third games, taking a commanding 3-0 lead.
In another quarter final between two contenders from India, Devendra Joshi got the better of Rupesh Shah 5-3 to enter the semi finals along with Pankaj and Praput.
Joshi took an early 2-0 lead, but Rupesh rallied well to snatch the third game.
Having surprised Gilchrist earlier, Thawat Sujaritthurakarn from Thailand was steadiness personified in his match with Dhruv Sitwala from India.
Dhruv had no clue as to what hit him, with Thai taking the first three games on the trot.
Such was the clinical display of this methodical Thai cueist that Dhruv just about got a single chance in the three games to do anything worthwhile. Keeping his cool, Dhruv was able to wrest the fourth, but that was about all he could.
At the completion of the league stage of the 13th ONGC Asian Under-21 Snooker Championship 2012, five Indian cueist have made the knockout grade of pre-quarter finals.
Results (Under-21 Snooker: Hossein Vafaei Ayouri (Iran) beat Hunain (Pakistan) : 4-1 (97(81)-04, 69-00, 79-01, 51-75(57), 96(58)-00) Lalit Dahiya (India) beat Marcus Lim Wei Jie (Singapore): 4-1 (69(41)-17, 08-46, 59-16, 74-52, 77-48) Noppon Saengkham (Thailand) beat Aloysius Yapp (Singapore): 4-0 (92(62)-01, 58-30, 132(132)-01, 111(86)-05)M L Laxman (India) beat Badr Obaid Khalifa (UAE): 4-0 (69-52, 53-39, 61-28, 58-28) Lu Ming (China) beat Lalrina Renthlei (India): 4-1 (18-86(58), 81-32, 73-14, 64-22, 59-28).