National Snooker Championships 2020: Aditya Mehta stuns Pankaj Advani to win title
Aditya Mehta, representing PSPB (Petroleum Sports Promotion Board), stunned multiple-time World Champion Pankaj Advani (also representing PSPB) to win the title in the National Snooker Championships held in Pune. Mehta, who had bagged a gold medal at the 2013 World Games (multi-sport event for sports that are not included in the Olympic Games), won the match 103-17, 50-58, 47-48, 70-40, 83-36, 69-7, 79-29, 64-28.
In the best-of-11 frames title clash, Mehta defeated Advani with the scoreline reading 6-2 in his favor. He clinched the first frame by a 103-17 margin with a break of 103. But Advani struck back winning the next 2 frames by slim margins (58-50, 48-47) with a highest break of 47 in the second frame. Just when it seemed that Advani would run away with the match, Mehta fought back to claim the next 5 frames to seal the title. Both the cueists played cautiously in the last 5 frames and there were no big breaks with Mehta's 61 in the sixth frame being the highest break.
In a media statement post the win, Mehta mentioned that it was a special win for him as it came after a gap of 4 years -
This title will be very special to me since it's coming after four years. I was nursing an injury which kept me off the tables.
He went on to add that he was down with a headache and was happy to come back from two frames to one down in a closely fought encounter -
I was struggling a bit due to a headache. And luckily for me from two one down, I fought well to lead and that was the turning point, so I'm confident of my game. And you know, when two top players are playing, sometimes the margins are very small.
Laxman Rawat (PSPB) won the 3rd place play-off beating Pushpender Singh (Railways) by 3 frames to 1 (71-5, 35-83, 64-8, 62-26).
Earlier, in the best of 9 frames semi-final encounters Mehta defeated Pushpender 5-3 (165-22, 35-70, 51-65, 66-12, 15-111, 64-15, 76-1, 66-24) while Advani defeated Rawat with the same scoreline of 5-3 (41-75, 31-85, 51-73, 82-1, 86-40, 71-17, 60-0, 62-4).
Vidya Pillai representing Karnataka retained her senior ladies snooker title by defeating Amee Kamani representing Madhya Pradesh by 3 frames to 2 (41-68, 57-35, 37-61, 69-50, 87-5) in a closely fought encounter. This was Pillai's 10th national title.
Varsha Sanjeev (Karnataka) won the 3rd place play-off beating Anupama Ramachandran (Tamil Nadu) by 2 frames to none (78-28, 63-38).
Published 11 Feb 2020, 20:53 IST