Advani clinches World billiards title

Displaying sublime touch, Pankaj Advani crowned himself World billiards champion for the 10th time when he overcame Peter Gilchrist 6-2 in the points format (150-up) final in Leeds on Saturday.

Advani, 29, thus avenged his 2-3 defeat in the league phase to the 46-year-old Gilchrist, the England-born Singapore resident who has three World titles to his credit.

Gilchrist was quick off the blocks as breaks of 144 in the first frame and 74 in the third gave him a 2-1 lead, but Advani surged back to take the next two frames and headed into the break leading 3-2.

On resumption, it was Advani all the way with Gilchrist struggling to have a say in the proceedings. The decisive moment came when Gilchrist, needing 44 to win the eighth frame, lost position after crafting a run of 39 to lead 145-77. Advani seized the chance to make an unfinished 77 to wrap up the match.

Bangalore-based Advani, who skipped two seasons of billiards for a stint on the professional snooker tour, trailed 1-2, but won five frames on the trot to regain the title he had last won in 2012.

In winning his 10th individual World title, Advani vindicated his decision earlier this year to give up his professional status in snooker to pursue his billiards career.

The results:

Final (best-of-11): Pankaj Advani (India) bt Peter Gilchrist (Singapore) 6-2. Semi-finals (best-of-9): Advani bt Sourav Kothari (India) 5-2. Gilchrist bt Robert Hall (England) 5-3.

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