The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Advani into title-round

New Delhi: National champion Pankaj Advani on Friday stormed into the final of the World Snooker Championship in Jiangmen, China, defeating fifth seed Brendan O’Donoghye of Ireland 8-3.

The 19-year-old Advani will take on Saleh Mohammed of Pakistan, who beat Mark Allen of Northern Ireland 8-5 in the other semi-final, according to information received here.

The Banglore-based cueist, who defeated top seed Paithoon Phonbun of Thailand 6-2 in the quarter finals on Thursday, led O’donoghye 4-3 at the end of the first session and then went on to win the first four frames of the second session to claim the tie 80-18, 63-23, 46-65, 74-5, 28-50, 93-7, 65-73, 68-1, 66-57, 63-17, 93-15.

Advani now has the chance become only the second Indian after O.B. Aggarwal to lay his hands on the coveted title.

Aggarwal had won the championship in 1984 in Dublin, when he defeated T. Parson of Wales in the final. Advani, who was among the four Indian cueists sent to Britain by the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India last month for training and match-practices, seems to have immensely benefited by his stint there. Advani was trailing 1-4 and 0-3 in his first knock-out round and the pre-quarter finals, respectively, but kept his cool.

“Pankaj has displayed tremendous maturity in reaching the final, considering it is his maiden entry into the world championship,” coach Michael Ferreira said. “Tomorrow is the ultimate test. I told only one thing to Pankaj: Forget the world title, forget that it is an India-Pakistan tie. Just go out and enjoy the game.” (PTI)

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