Pankaj Advani defends his 11th National Billiards Championship
Pankaj Advani defends his 11th National Billiards Championship

Bhopal: Ace cueist Pankaj Advani successfully defended his national billiards title, his 11th overall, by defeating PSPB teammate Dhruv Sitwala 5-2 in a best-of-nine games final here. After Sitwala's 64 and 42 breaks late Monday evening, Advani answered with breaks of 56 and 46 to tie the game at 1-1.

Sitwala raced ahead by pocketing the third game with a large break of 84, demonstrating outstanding in-offs, pots, and cannons. After a fantastic effort of 101, he was on track to wrest the fourth game, but a critical lapse by him provided Advani with a window of opportunity.

After regaining his composure, the maestro snatched the game with a masterful break of 127 to tie the game at 2-2. Then Advani went on a purple streak, cajoling and nursing the balls at the top of the table to make identical incomplete 150-point breaks in the fifth and sixth games to take a decisive 4-2 lead.

Sitwala would not give up and produced a spectacular display of talent, patience, and composure to make a break of 134, but he was unable to hold the balls together in ideal position to offer Advani another chance after a series of safety exchanges. After then, Advani never looked back, building an unfinished 148 break to win the game, match, and championship.

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