Advani overcomes fighting Damani to emerge champion

Snooker National 6-red championship

Advani overcomes fighting Damani to emerge champion

Another one! Pankaj Advani after winning the National 6-red snooker title. DH photoIn a marathon final that lasted just a little under four hours and went right down to the wire, the reigning National 15-red snooker and billiards champion completed a grand treble with a gritty 8-7 (25-54(22), 51(38)-0, 43(34)-9, 60(60)-1, 29-5, 0-69(69), 36-33, 30-38, 31-35, 8-33, 6-48(43), 47-19, 11-65(38, 27), 48-2, 33-2) victory at the Karnataka State Billiards Association Hall.


“It feels really satisfying to win at the KSBA,” said a relieved Advani. “More importantly, the manner in which I won gives me immense pleasure. Even before a ball could be hit in this tournament, many people said there could be surprises with the format shortened. I am happy to have won it.”

Hardly tested throughout the tournament, Advani was stretched to the limit by a tenacious Damani before the 24-year-old rallied superbly in the final two frames to seal his 20th National title at a venue where he has also triumphed on the world stage.
Under severe pressure when Damani won five out of six frames to surge to a 7-6 lead, Advani produced a brilliant combination of attacking and defensive play to flatten the 2009 Asian Indoor Games snooker gold medallist. Knowing that a miss could cost him dearly, Advani reeled off a long red pot to level the contest at 7-7 with a clearance of 39.
With both cueists not willing to give an inch, the decider was more like a game of chess. With no good position available to sink the remaining two reds, Advani snookered Damani behind the green at the top. After committing fouls on two attempts, Damani managed to redeem himself on the third attempt, but there was more trouble in store with only the colours on the table.

Snookered again for the green, Damani tried hard once but failing to break free on the second attempt he conceded the contest, bringing to an end a duel that rode high on action, intensity and skill.

It all began as if Damani too would be blown away. After surrendering the opening frame, the Bangalore lad, working the cue with the precision of a surgeon, zoomed off to 5-2 lead. Just when everyone thought it would it be another walk in the park for Advani, Damani exploded without warning.

He countered Advani with an irresistible display of attacking snooker, pouncing on anything free that came his way. With fortune too favouring him on a few occasions, Damani regained the match lead for the second time in the 11th frame. However, joy turned into despair when Advani found his class and mental strength to stand tall.

Result: Pankaj Adavani (PSPB) bt Brijesh Damani (WB) 8-7 (25-54(22), 51(38)-0, 43(34)-9, 60(60)-1, 29-5, 0-69(69), 36-33, 30-38, 31-35, 8-33, 6-48(43), 47-19, 11-65(38, 27), 48-2, 33-2).
3-4 play-off: Kamal Chawla (Rlys) bt Manan Chandra (PSPB) 4-3 (40-36, 0-42, 16-45, 42-18, 42-26, 0-45, 51-18).
Ranking: P Advani 1; B Damani 2; K Chawla 3; M Chandra 4; Rafath Habib 5; Sundeep Gulati 6; IH Manudev 7; Divya Sharma 8.

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