The Indian duo of Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehra on Wednesday stormed into the final of the IBSF World Team Snooker Championship with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Thailand here.
After defeating Hong Kong in a gruelling quarterfinal, the Indians looked determined in the semifinal against the Thai pair of Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon and Kritsanut Lertsattayathorn.In the end, the Indians got the better of their Thai opponents 4-1 Advani and Mehra will take on Thailand's No. 2 team in the final later on Wednesday. A win in final will take Advani's world championship gold medals tally to 23 while for Mehra it will be a first-ever world title.
Pankaj Advani had won his record 22nd World Championship title last week. By the virtue of this win, the multiple-time world champion became the one sportsperson to have the most World Cup or Championship gold in a game. The greatest cueist of all time, Pankaj has also won more world titles in cue sports than anyone else in the world. Pankaj has been on a winning spree since 2014 as he has not lost one world title in Billiards or Snooker.
From the word go, Pankaj was in full flow, as he typically is on the biggest stage. In no time the gifted Indian was at the halfway mark leading 3-0 with the help of fluent breaks comprising of 145, 89 and 127, while the local favourite Nay Thway Oo was yet to open his account. After pulling one back with breaks of 63 and 62, Oo was forced to watch Pankaj Advani as he continued to extend the lead. Pankaj executed with flair as his sheer brilliance was on display, wowing the Myanmar crowd as they couldn’t help but appreciate his mind-blowing Billiards. Pankaj secured the next two frames which included a 150 unfinished break. Oo’s solitary century in the final cake in the penultimate frame. However, Pankaj scored a 74 break and shortly after that closed out the match as he captured yet another world title. Next up, Pankaj Advani switches to Snooker, competing in the IBSF World Six-Red Snooker and the World Team Snooker Championships. While the first is the shorter format of Snooker, the latter is the full 15-red format. Pankaj has under a day to make the transition.
(With PTI Inputs)