National Billiards: Advani, Sitwala set up final clash

Kolkata: Twelve-time World Champion Pankaj Advani and Dhruv Sitwala posted contrasting wins to set up the final face-off in the Senior National Billiards Championship at the Bengal Rowing Club here Friday.

Advani had a minor shock as he lost two frames but overcame the setback to win the encounter 4-2 beating Siddharth Parikh of Railways.

Leading 2-0, the 29-year-old came across a hurdle in the third frame when Parikh registered a 107 break on the way to a 114-150 win, but Advani came back strong to clinch the fourth to make it 3-1.

Advani lost the fifth frame narrowly but bounced back to take the last one and with it the victory.

“I was not playing at my best as it’s difficult to play at peak form every day. But I’m glad to make the final,” he said.

The second semifinal went to the deciding seventh frame, as Mumbai player Dhruv Sitwala faced a stern challenge from B. Bhaskar of Karnataka.

It was a tough battle with Bhaskar playing the catching-up game and holding Sitwala every time he went into the lead. The two shared three games each to take the game to the deciding seventh.

Trailing 20-127 in the decider, Sitwala held his calm to register a break of 127 and clinch a thrilling 4-3 victory.

“I had lost all hope and told myself not to be too ambitious and just tried to keep it simple,” Sitwala said after the match.

He said he has to be at his very best to stand a chance against Advani in the finals.

“If I gave 75 per cent today, I will have to give at least 95 per cent to stand a chance against him (Advani),” he said.

Sitwala would look to take inspiration from his win against Advani in the 2010 World Championship on his way to the final.


Pankaj Advani (PSPB) beat Siddharth Parikh (RSPB) 4-2
150(148)-37, 150(50,66)-87(56), 114-150(107), 154(154)-52, 140-150(76), 150(70,53)-45.

Dhruv Sitwala (PSPB) beat B Bhaskar (Karnataka) 4-3
151(75)-31, 35-150(75),151(86)-136(134), 99(51)-150(77), 152(88)-43, 54(54)-151(145),151(127)-127(94)