Special Correspondent

Mumbai: Pankaj Advani showed class and temperament to win a major title putting it across seasoned campaigner and defending champion Yasin Merchant in the final of the Rs. 3.77 lakh Cricket Club of India (CCI) Platinum Jubilee Open snooker tournament at the Wilson Jones Billiards Room here on Friday.

Advani completed the task in under three hours and won the best of 13 frame final 7-2 and received a silverware and winner’s purse of Rs. One lakh. Merchant received Rs. 50,000.

The final watched by a packed hall and by green baize buffs in the club house veranda on closed-circuit television, did not rise to great heights.

Down 0-3, Merchant pulled back a frame with a fine break of 71 in the fourth and thereafter made the match score 2-4, grabbing the sixth with another superb effort of 60. The former Asian champion was not able to sustain form any further and Advani clinched the final in the ninth frame.

“It’s not the best of finals quality-wise. There’s a lot of safety play, good potting and tense moments. But I am satisfied with the score line of 7-2, although honestly I did not expect it to be so. I was up 3-0, but I was not striking the ball well; he made two half century breaks which indicated that he had got into a nice rhythm. If Yasin had capitalised on the chances in the first two frames, which was crucial, it would have been a much closer final. He gave me chances and allowed me to comeback,” said Advani.

Merchant admitted that Advani was a better player than him in the final. “I was a bit rusty, and I agree that I made mistakes and allowed him to comeback. I have to steal time for practice these days, it’s all bad time management on my part.

“It’s not an excuse. These guys are fresh and have practised and were used to match situations before this tournament.

The result (final): Pankaj Advani bt Yasin Merchant 80-62, 76-34, 65-1, 0-118(71), 78-17, 4-102(60), 60-28, 73(60)-27, 59-15.

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