Pankaj Advani pockets 15th World snooker title

Bangalorean beats China's Xintong in a thrilling best-of-15 final

Hurghada (Egypt): India’s most successful cueist Pankaj Advani on Saturday added another feather in his cap by winning the IBSF World Snooker Championship after battling past his Chinese opponent Zhua Xintong in the final to take his world title count to 15.

Pankaj Advani. Pic/AFP
Pankaj Advani. Pic/AFP

Advani, 30, once again mesmerised the green baize to prevail over the teenage sensation 8-6 in the best-of-15 final at Sunrise Crystal Bay resort here.

The victory for Bangalore’s ‘Golden Boy’ comes just after he clinched the IBSF Billiards crown in September. He is also the first person in history to take the short (6-Red) and the long snooker format in the same calendar year.

India’s poster of cuesport, who led 5-2 in the first session, looked unstoppable against his talented opponent even after the break, but was tested by the 18-year-old cueist in a match which saw top snooker at display. Leading 6-2 after the break, Advani’s march was halted by Xintong when he pulled back two frames to give the champion cueist a taste of his own medicine.

Advani held his nerve to make it 7-4, but the youngster wasn’t done yet. Xintong went ballistic in the next two frames to make the multiple world champion eat humble pie and a match was on at 7-6.

Xintong drew first blood in the 14th frame, but Advani dug deep into his reservoir of experience to finish the tournament in style with a century break of 109.

This was Advani’s first 15-Red Snooker title since 2003 when he won the crown in China. Though Egypt proved lucky for the champion, who had won his first 6-Red world title here last year.

Earlier, Advani had started the match by capturing the first two frames with breaks of 106 and 56 in the first and the second respectively against the 18-year-old Chinese cueist.

Final score
Pankaj Advani (8) beat Zhua Xintong (6): 117-6, 75-16, 29-68, 63-23, 87-01, 16-72, 110-13, 113-01, 52-65, 13-84, 77-36, 14-126, 26-82, 116-24

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