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Pankaj wins, Saurav loses

Taupo: National champion Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehta opened with victories as India had mixed fortunes on the opening day of the u-21 world snooker championships here on Wednesday. The third Indian in the fray, Calcutta’s Saurav Kothari crashed to defeat in his first match.

Advani, the 18-year-old from Bangalore, sailed past Shannon Swain of New Zealand 4-0 in group F, while 17-year-old Mehta accounted for the more fancied Sascha Lippe of Germany 4-0 in group D. Kothari fell to Chinese Li Yixi 1-4 in group E. The Calcutta lad is scheduled to play Majid Saeed Dhaif of Bahrain on Thursday. Advani meets Jamie O’Neill of England while Mehta clashes with Adam Grabash of Australia.

Meanwhile, defending champion Ding Junhui of China dropped two frames to Irishman Robert McCullough on way to a 4-2 win in group A. Another Chinese, Tian Pengfei overcame the highly rated Jaime Jones of Wales 4-3 in group D.

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