Pankaj Advani wins his 11th national billiards title

Ace-cueist Pankaj Advani defended his national billiards title – his 11th in the tournament – after beating PSPB teammate Dhruv Sitwala here 5-2 in a best-of-nine game final.

Advani responded with breaks of 56 and 46 to restore parity at 1: 1 after Sitwala’s breaks of 64 and 42 late Monday night.

Sitwala, who showed excellent in-offs, pots and cannons, shot forward by taking the third game with a sizeable break of 84.

He was well on his way to wrestling even game four after a wonderful 101 performance, but a costly mistake on his part gave Advani a chance.

The maestro rallied himself and scored a classic break of 127 in a great rally to snap the game and level again at 2-2.

Then Advani hit a purple stain, flattered and groomed the balls at the top of the table to score identical unfinished breaks of 150 in the fifth and sixth games to create a crucial 4-2 game lead.

Sitwala didn’t give up and showed tremendous skill, patience and temperament to score a break of 134 but unfortunately failed to hold the balls together in the best position to give Advani another chance after a series of safety changes.

Advani never looked back after that, putting together an unfinished 148 hiatus to take the game, the game, and the title.

“Dhruv is a very close friend of mine, we all share the sneak peaks of our lives. To be honest, playing against your best friend in the finals of a big event like this is never easy. But after the snooker failures, this victory gives me a feeling of relief ”, Advani was quoted in a media statement published here on Tuesday.

“The National Billiards Championship is certainly a difficult tournament to crack. I am thrilled and grateful to have won my 11th senior billiards title; it is also my 35th title overall. So I’m more than happy and deeply satisfied, ”said Pankaj.