Advani falls, Mehta wins

Mehta defeated Afghanistan’s Mohd Rais Senzahi 6-4 in his last-four encounter. Advani, however, lost 5-6 to Thailand’s Passakorn Suwannawat at the Yeshwant Club on a day of mixed fortune for the hosts.

In the quarterfinals on Thursday evening, Kamal Chawla paid dearly for missing a pink ball pot in the eighth frame, going down 4-5 in heart-breaing fashion to Senzahi.
Mehta, who has been brilliant throughout the tournament having lost just one frame in six previous clashes, once again oozed class, proving too hot for Senzahi.
Although it was not a high-scoring one, the match relied heavily on technical and safety play, the 25-year-old coming trumps 71-37, 11-75, 26-77, 67-6, 80-0, 32-59, 54-55, 95-19, 24-71, 100(80)-11.

The 23-year-old Maharashtrian was in top gear from the moment he hit the green baize, taking a 1-0 in quick time. However, Senzahi surprised Mehta, winning the second and third to become the first cueist in this tournament to take a lead over the youngster. Mehta, who did venture to the United Kingdom last year for a short duration to try his hand at pro snooker, quickly sized up his opponent, exhibiting some fine skills that saw him win five of the next seven frames to script another emphatic victory.

Meanwhile, Advani fought tooth and nail against Passakorn, scripting a superb comeback before running out of gas. Trailing 0-3, the seven-time world champion won the next two, lost the sixth, before winning three in a row to take a 5-4 lead. Just when an all-Indian title clash loomed large, Passakorn levelled proceedings after winning a hard-fought 10th before maintaining his nerve in the decider to seal a fine victory. Passakorn won 82-17, 74-5, 62-33, 20-88, 44-78, 98-0, 25-74, 57-69, 5-80, 53-40, 73-51.

Results: Semifinals: Aditya Mehta (Ind) bt Mohd Rais Senzahi (Afg) 6-4 (71-37, 11-75, 26-77, 67-6, 80-0, 32-59, 54-55, 95-19, 24-71, 100(80)-11); Passakorn Suwannawat (Tha) bt Pankaj Advani (Ind) 6-5 (82-17, 74-5, 62-33, 20-88, 44-78, 98-0, 25-74, 57-69, 5-80, 53-40, 73-51).

Quarterfinals: Aditya Mehta (Ind) bt Noppadol Sangnil (Tha) 5-0 (79-24, 58-17, 69-28, 70-41, 65-17); Passakorn Suwannawat (Tha) bt Shahid Aftab (Pak) 5-2 (93-3, 65-21, 52-65, 75-25, 55-69, 112-4, 65-7); Pankaj Advani (Ind) bt Tian Pengfei (Chn) 5-2 (73-18, 17-76, 78-23, 64-28, 55-43, 0-140(140), 142(104)-0); Mohammad Senzahi (Afg) bt Kamal Chawla (Ind) 5-4 (78-52, 63-61, 51-77, 24-68, 40-79, 66-32, 48-89, 53-40, 69-23).

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