Advani wins 20th world title

Advani wins 20th world title

India's ace cueist Pankaj Advani on Thursday won his third straight IBSF billiards crown in the 150-up format, taking his overall tally of world titles to a staggering 20.

The 33-year-old from Bengaluru overcame Nay Thway Oo of Myanmar 6-2 (150 (108)-21, 0-151 (147), 151 (91, 54)-0, 4-151 (103), 151 (141)-11, 150 (129)-81 (77), 151 (145)-109 (52, 57), 151 (151)-0) in a high-quality final.

It was also a proud moment for Myanmar which saw its own player in the title round for the first time. Nay did well to oust multiple world champion Mike Russell in the semifinal with a convincing 5-2 victory but succumbed to the brilliance of Advani in the title clash.

Nay wasn’t given much breathing space as Advani was clearly on a mission to retain his title. And he did so with absolute supremacy. Advani started off the final with a century break of 108. But since he wasn’t able to settle down at the top of the table, the high-scoring zone, he couldn’t reach the 150-mark of the frame, allowing his opponent on to the table.

Nay, however, did not capitalise and the Indian drew first blood. But the Myanmar cueist was determined to put up a fight and made the score 1-1 with the help of a 147 break.

Advani went 2-1 ahead with breaks of 91 and 54. However, Nay was not going to relent and added another century to make the score two apiece. But it was from there that Advani went into overdrive and never looked back.

The next four frames in the race-to-6 encounter saw Advani play with sheer dominance as he compiled four back-to-back centuries of 141, 129, 145 and 151 to stamp his authority on the contest.

"This win is extremely special for me. It’s a perfect 20 and I’m glad that I’m still hungry for more. It’s pleasing to be able to play at a quality level over the years and looking to take this tally beyond a ‘score’," said the champion.