World Snooker C'ship: Pankaj Advani surges ahead as more Indians enter knockouts

Bengaluru: Indian ace Pankaj Advani today maintained his unbeaten run in the ongoing Seaways IBSF World Snooker Championship at Kanteerava Stadium, here today as more Indian cueists advanced to the knockout stages.

Advani, who is already in the knockouts, cruised to a 4-0 win over Mike Toth from Switzerland, aided by two half-century breaks to top his group with an all-win record after six outings. "I am happy that I topped the Group and the real tournament begins tomorrow.

Indian ace Pankaj AdvaniIndian ace Pankaj Advani

Given the conditions here, I am going to be a different player, so don't expect any fireworks from me. I will probably play slower than normal and will not take too many chances," said Advani after resuming play post a day's break.

Eyeing his 13th world title and fourth this year, Advani said that he spent a couple of hours practicing yesterday, something he normally avoids. "This (practicing during tournament) is something I usually avoid and so I have prepared as well as I could for this tournament," said India's poster boy of cue sports.

Other notable entries to book their knockout berths were Asian champion Thor Chuan Leong of Malaysia alongwith India's Laxman Rawat among others, who made a mark today. Leong, who topped the group with five wins in six outings in the league stage, ended up topping the group with five wins in six outings. He only saw defeated against Egypt's Mohamed Khairy 1-4.

Laxman posted his fourth win of Group B to make sure that he entered the last-64 stage. Laxman lost the first frame to Jurian Heusdens of Belgium, but won the next four on the trot with a break of 87 in the fourth being his best for the day. Lucky Vatnani, Varun Madan, Rahul Ajay Sachdev and Shivam Arora also won their respective concluding league matches to join Advani, Rupesh Shah, Shabaaz Adil Khan, Manan Chandra and Brijesh Damani in the round-of-64. Scotsman Gary Thomson beat Egypt's Khairy 4-1, but to no avail as both failed to make the grade.

Jurian Heusdens of Belgium also faltered in the league hurdle. All the faltering cueists won only two matches and will have to figure out if they are part of the six best losers to still stand a chance of staying alive. The total number of frames won and lost and the frame difference will be the decider.

The top-four and the six best losers make the grade. In Group C, Pakistan's Hamza Akbar went past Vinicius Da Silva Fucuta of Brazil with a century break of 127 that saw some immaculate potting.

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