Advani makes smooth start

Advani makes smooth start

Four-time world champion Higgins has it easy; Maguire gets better of Davison

Advani makes smooth start

Pankaj Advani, the poster boy of Indian cue sports, made it a second straight sweet night for the hosts after delivering a customary knockout performance to the delight of everyone in the Indian Open World Ranking Snooker Tournament here on Tuesday.

Just a day after snooker specialist Aditya Mehta set the ball rolling with a matured 4-3 defeat of former world champion Peter Ebdon, fellow pro circuit player Advani oozed class in slamming the door on an out-of-sorts Marcus Campbell.

Grabbing most of the chances that came his way, Advani set up an exciting last-32 encounter against World No 11 Mark Allen following a neat 4-1 (97 (74)-14, 65-49, 59 (52)-63, 134 (134)-4, 59 (52)-19) first-round victory over Campbell in front of a packed gathering.

Star attraction John Higgins, the four-time world champion, too faced little difficulty in sweeping away young upstart Joel Walker 4-0 (67 (49)-10, 68-11, 76 (76)-0, 73 (61)-0) as World No 5 Stephen Maguire and Anthony McGill joined their fellow Scotsman into the next round in contrasting styles.

While Maquire eased past Paul S Davison 4-1 (75 (75)-1, 27-42, 88 (83)-16, 76 (68)-3, 73 (72)-2), Anthony McGill, ranked 49, caused the day’s biggest shock, stunning World No 7 Barry Hawkins (69 (52)-0, 132 (123)-0, 77-6, 0-64, 103 (103)-13).

In Monday’s late night first-round action, China’s Ding Junhui, one of the star attractions of the tournament along with Higgins, appeared in all sorts of trouble before hauling himself out with a hard-fought 4-3 (7-75 (70), 68-44, 70-9, 22-70, 22-60, 70 (51) -19, 89 (88) -4) victory over Barry Pinches.

Class apart

Advani though looked a class apart. Known to draw inspiration from partisan home crowd, the 28-year-old cashed in brilliantly on Campbell’s profligacy to eventually carve out an easy victory.

There were moments when the Bangalorean appeared in trouble but with Campbell committing plenty of errors and struggling with his timing, Advani accepted them gleefully, dishing out a strong opening act and boosting his confidence ahead of the herculean Allen challenge.

Campbell had a good chance to take a 1-0 lead but soon after firing a superb triple cannon, the burly Scotsman missed a regulation pot and Advani unleashed a 74-point break to take a 1-0 lead.

Campbell, on a 23-point break in the second, hit hard on the green that presented Advani an opportunity. A bit of a cat and mouse chase ensued before Campbell made hash of the simple green pot again on the penultimate red ball. Advani then sunk the final red and colours until pink to sit pretty at 2-0 up.

Campbell found his bearing in the third despite Advani cracking a 52-pointer to reduce the margin 1-2 but that was all he managed as the ace Indian made a 134-point clearance -- which was aided by a bit of good fortune when the black wobbled before delicately rolling in while on 47 points – to seize command with a 3-1 lead.

Advani scored a 52-point break in the fifth frame and following another costly miss from Campbell, the home hope wrapped up victory in quick time.

“It’s a good way to start,” said a delighted Advani. “I started feeling more confident after the second frame. I’m really looking forward to meeting Allen, who won the Ruhr Open early this month.”


First round results: On Tuesday: Rod Lawler w/o Allister Carter; Michael White w/o Anthony Hamilton; Anthony McGill bt Barry Hawkins 4-1 (69 (52)-0, 132 (123)-0, 77-6, 0-64, 103 (103)-13); Gary Wilson bt Dominic Dale 4-0 (78 (66)-14, 65-53, 125 (125)-6, 92 (72)-39); Robbie Williams w/o Kyren Wilson; Marco Fu w/o Tony Drago; Mark Williams w/o Yu De Lu; Stephen Maguire bt Paul S Davison 4-1 (75 (75)-1, 27-42, 88 (83)-16, 76 (68)-3, 73 (72)-2); Andrew Higginson bt Jamie Burnett 4-2 (75-7, 70-5, 67 (58)-33, 3-58, 0-86 (86), 68-1); John Hgiggins bt Joel Walker 4-0 (67 (49)-10, 68-11, 76 (76)-0, 73 (61)-0); Pankaj Advani bt Marcus Campbell 4-1 (97 (74)-14, 65-49, 59 (52)-63, 134 (134)-4, 59 (52)-19); Mark Allen bt Nigel Bond 4-1 (63 (55)-61, 62-20, 99 (54)-2, 13-68,  84 (84)-2); Tom Ford bt Jamie Jones 4-3 (66-36, 59-50, 49-58, 77 (70)-1, 72 (71)-8, 74 (73)-19, 61-0); Ratchayothin Yotharuck bt James Wattanna 4-3 (83-32, 22-72, 51-73 (55), 101 (101)-0, 114 (57, 53)-2, 60 (60)-69 (69), 131 (131)-0).

On Monday: Mark Davis bt Elliot Slessor 4-2 (35-97 (81), 66-62, 61-70, 89-13, 48-36, 78-8); Hammad Miah bt Chen Zhe 4-3 (81-1, 97 (65) -11, 29-84, 9-73 (57), 36-71, 68-13, 75-4); Ding Junhui bt Barry Pinches 4-3 (7-75 (70), 68-44, 70-9, 22-70, 22-60, 70 (51) -19, 89 (88) -4); Liang Wenbo bt David Morris 4-2 (64-25, 66 (55) -32, 105 (74) -6, 8-86 (61), 33-70 (69), 78 (78) -0).

Indian matches on Wednesday: 1.30 pm: Aditya Mehta vs Hammad Miah; 8 pm: Pankaj Advani vs Mark Allen (Live on DD Sports).

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox