Indian ace Pankaj Advani notched up a thrilling win over compatriot Dhruv Sitwala in the semifinal to set up a title clash with nine-time winner and defending champion Mark Russel in the World Professional Billiards Championships here.

The 2008 IBSF World Billiards Champion, Advani edged past Sitwala 1037-972 in an extremely close match.

Advani took a slender lead forward to the second two hour session after a nip and tuck battle though out the encounter. With approximately 13 minutes left, the 24-year-old National Champion compiled a 142 game break to pip a much improved Sitwala.

In the other semifinal, compatriot Rupesh Shah squandered a first session lead and succumbed to his elementary mistakes to go down 880-1366 against the defending champion Russel.

The first session went in Shah’s favour as he built up a lead of nearly 200 against Russel, but in the second session, the defending champion started to flow; His 166 and 267 game breaks further went on to consolidate his position. Shah could only manage a poor 272 total points in this session.

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