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Mixed day for the Indians

New Delhi: Pankaj Advani overcame a stiff challenge before prevailing over World No. 25 Xiao Guodong, in the first round of the Haikou World Open Snooker in China.

The Chinese played in front of a home crowd that was keen to see him come through, but were sportingly appreciative of a dynamic display of snooker by the Indian pro.

The recently crowned Indian snooker champion was at sea in the first frame, struggling to adjust to the conditions that were contrasting in nature to that of the Indian National Championship conducted in Lucknow last week. 0-1 down, Advani shifted gear and made a 51 break in the second frame to draw parity.

The third frame was unusual in nature as it ended in the Indian’s favour even though he was trailing by over 20 points.

Guodong made a break of 62. While Advani was fighting back, the Chinese made three consecutive foul-and-misses. According to professional snooker rules, that amounts to a frame being awarded to the opponent. The rare misfortune for the Chinese presented Advani with a 3-1 lead before the former fought back with a 70 to make it 3-2. Advani clinched the sixth frame.

However, the Chinese proved his class and made frame-winning breaks of 61 and 63 respectively in the next two.

The other Indian, Aditya Mehta, lost in the first round to England’s Michael White. Starting off as the favourite for the match, the Mehta faltered and lost the match 3-5. (PTI)