New Delhi: India’s leading professional cueist Pankaj Advani scored a major upset over Mark Allen of Northern Ireland to join compatriot Aditya Mehta in the pre-quarter finals of the Indian Open world snooker ranking tournament, on Wednesday
Both Advani and Mehta reigned supreme on the green baize and proved why they are the country’s poster boys of cue sport.
While the eight-time world champion Advani, ranked 70th in the world, stamped his class with a 4-2 win over world No. 11 Allen in the final round of 32 match, the Cali World Games gold medallist Mehta had a 4-1 win over England’s Hammad Miah.
Both will be seen in action on Thursday with Advani up against world No. 12 England’s Stuart Bingham and Mehta taking on two-time world champion Mark Williams.
The 27-year-old Bangalorean Advani ended Allen’s hopes in a commanding fashion. The Northern Island cueist was in great form entering the tournament remaining undefeated from last week’s Ruhr Open held in Germany.
Little did he know that the lower-ranked but highly dangerous Indian would break his streak. Advani started the match with a break, but it was not enough to seal the frame. Allen used his experience to wrap it up taking a 1-0 lead.
Advani bounced back with a reply of 55-clearance to win the second frame, not allowing Allen to score a single point. The Indian continued the third frame with a 71 break and took a 2-1 lead.
Allen drew parity capitalising on an Advani error. Evenly poised, the match had a lot more in store and for the local fans, it was a dream.