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Sethi, Advani in knockout phase

Hyderabad: Top seed Geet Sethi and teen sensation Pankaj Advani won their league rounds to move into the knockout phase but not before surviving a scare in the world billiards championship here on Thursday.

Also doing the country proud were Siddharth Parikh and Ashok Shandilya.

But it was 18-year-old Advani who pulled off the biggest coup of the tournament so far beating professional Nalin Patel 127-150, 33-150, 150-42, 150-0, 151-0.

The veteran cueist baffled the young world snooker champion by his canons and brisk potting and although Advani reached 127, Patel took the first frame and won the second with ease.

However, in the third frame both players looked out of sorts and made very simple errors to let go plenty of opportunities.

Advani finally got two nice breaks and stopped Patel in his tracks to win the frame.

On the other table, Sethiís match was no different. The Myanmar cueist U Kuaw Oo provided the former world champion with the toughest challenge as yet and threatened to run away with the game by taking the first and fourth frames and leading Sethi in the decider.

Sethi lost the first frame 134 as Oo exhibited some thrilling in-offs and fast canons. But the Indian pro took the second frame with an identical margin and stretched his form further to win the third frame with a break of 64.

Tables turned again as Oo pulled off a very convincing break and displayed some top table play to win the fourth frame leaving Sethi behind at 58 points.

The decider was a test of nerves and the players fumbled at delicate junctures. Despite being within sniffing distance of victory, the Myanmarese caved in. Taking advantage, Sethi recouped his poise to take an unfinished break of 42 to settle the issue.

Among other Indian winners Siddharth Parikh trounced Australian Joe Minici 150-119, 150-133, 100-150, 150-87 while Ashok Shandilya beat Khurram Hussain Agha 150-104, 151-59, 151-19. Devendra Joshi defeated Mohammed Yousuf of Pakistan in straight frames.

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