Pankaj Advani emerges champion

Pankaj Advani emerges champion

ALL SMILES: India's Pankaj Advani (centre) is flanked by Iran's Ehsan Hyderinezhad (left) and Aung Phyo of Myanmar at the KSBA Hall on Thursday. DH PHOTO/BH SHIVAKUMAR

Pankaj Advani justified his favourite tag as he outlasted Ehsan Heydari Nezhad 6-4 in the final of the third leg of the ACBS Asian Snooker Tour at the KSBA here on Thursday.

The hometown cueist, who also finished overall number one, clinched the marathon final 52-40, 66-0, 1-63, 78-4, 35-47, 0-51, 47-35, 38-39, 53-35, 51-20.

It started off well for Advani as he clinched the first two frames with relative ease, a break of 58 in the second frame being the highlight.

Nezhad, who looked for offensive shots rather than safety, made a 62-point break in the third to make it 2-1 only for his opponent to extend his lead to 3-1 in the fourth with breaks of 45 and 33.

The fifth frame was intensely fought unlike the opening four which was generally lop-sided. Trailing 12-29, Nezhad missed a chance but was given a reprieve to make amends. The Iranian then made a 27-point break to clinch the frame and make it 2-3. Nezhad then conjured a 33-point break in the sixth level the proceedings.

A tight seventh frame followed and Advani, trailing 34-35, played a safety shot and followed it up by sinking the pink and the black to win the frame 47-35 and take back the lead 4-3.

It proved short-lived as the Iranian opponent won the next frame but the ninth frame proved to be the turning point. The Indian ace finally settled into a groove as a key break under pressure of 49 won him the frame 53-35 and he followed that up with 50-point break in the next to clinch the match and the title.

"(I'm) elated. I can't tell you how relieved I am feeling at the moment," said Advani after the victory. "I knew that once I reached the knockout stages, I was going to finish number one overall but to win the leg at my hometown, in front of my friends and supporters, I couldn't have asked for more really."

Results: Final: Pankaj Advani (Ind) bt Ehsan Heydari Nezhad (Irn) 6-4 (52-40, 66-0, 1-63, 78-4, 35-47, 0-51, 47-35, 38-39, 53-35, 51-20).

Semifinals: Nezhad bt Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon (Tha) 5-3 (56-1, 46-5, 5-85, 1-57, 0-98, 92-0, 53-7, 67-36; Advani bt Aung Phyo (Mym) 5–2 (50-27, 92-00, 86-15, 12-62, 54-30, 24-70, 79-05).