Doha, March 18 (IANS) India's ace cueist Pankaj Advani stormed into the semifinals of the Asian Billiards Championship here on Saturday as two of his compatriots -- Brijesh Damani and Shrikrishna Suryanarayanan -- too made it to the last-four stage.
Advani defeated Praput Chaithanasukan of Thailand in a quarterfinal clash in the 100-up format.
Advani, the multiple-times winner of the World, Asian and National billiards and snooker titles in various formats, got the better of Praput Chaithanasukan 5-1 in their last-eight stage clash in the Qatar capital on Saturday.
In the semifinal, Advani will take on Pauk Sa of Myanmar, who got the better of India's Rupesh Shah 5-2 in the quarterfinals.
India is guaranteed a place in the final as Brijesh Damani and Shrikrishna Suryanarayanan will meet in an all-Indian affair in the second semifinal.
Both overcame Indian opponents in the quarterfinals -- Damani prevailed 5-4 over Dhruv Sitwala, winning with a scoreline of 0-102, 101-0, 8-101, 101(51)-7, 104-68 while Shrikrishna defeated Saurav Kothari 5-3 (105-74, 100(73)-87(82), 32-100, 55-101(81), 101(76)-48, 65(56)-101(72), 101-0) in the other quarterfinal.
Advani came up with a break of 93 to win the first frame 100-76 but his Thai opponent compiled a break of 74 to win the second 63-101 and tied the scores.
The Indian ace compiled another 93 break in the third frame to win it 100-43 and surged to a 2-1 lead. He maintained his upper hand in the next three games -- winning them 101(78)-00, 100-65, 100-12 to emerge victorious.
Earlier, Advani had defeated Thaha Irshath of Sri Lanka 4-0 in the first league match of the Asian Billiards Championship 2023. Advani won 102(61)-20, 100-07, 100(100)-00, 102(89)-05. He then blanked Hwang Chulho of South Korea 4-0 with a scoreline of 102-46, 103-32, 107-3 and 101-36, a century break of (105) being the highlight of this win for the 37-year-old from Bangalore.
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