Advani enters semifinals

Snooker: All-India tournament:

Advani, the 24-year-old Bangalorean will take on fellow-PSPB player Sourav Kothari in a repeat of the 2009 National championship final. J Varun Kumar of Chennai meets Aditya Mehta of PSPB in the other last four match.

The Kolkata-based Kothari put out local challenger Rafath Habib 5-2 while Mehta, the 25-year old from Mumbai ousted veteran SA Saleem 5-1 and Varun Kumar upset Geet Sethi 5-1 in the quarterfinal matches.

After losing the first frame, Gulati jumped to a 4-1 lead on breaks of 40, 53 and 88, and he looked certain to author a stunning upset. However, in the crucial sixth frame, Gulati went in-off after potting the green and Advani swiftly cleared the table to make it 2-4.

Thereafter, Advani dug in and bounced back in typical style like he had done so many times in the recent past to turn a certain defeat into victory. Although he did not make any big breaks, Advani shrugged off the initial inconsistency and once he got into the flow, there was no stopping him. Small but useful breaks marked his progress as he also showcased his safety play to keep his opponent under pressure.

The day began with Varun, who came through the qualifying rounds, eliminating Sethi as he punctuated his progress with breaks of 69, 48 and 58 that kept his opponent off the table. Sethi looked a pale shadow of his former self while Varun played with lot of confidence.


The results (quarterfinals): J Varun Kumar (TN) bt Geet Sethi (Gujarat) 5-1; Aditya Mehta (PSPB) bt SA Saleem (TN) 5-1; Sourav Kothari (PSPB) bt Rafath Habib (Railways) 5-2; Pankaj Advani (PSPB) bt Sandeep Gulati (Delhi) 5-4.

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