SPORT

Another good day for Advani

EINDHOVEN (HOLLAND), NOV. 29. Defending champion Pankaj Advani had another good day in the office, streaking to a 4-0 win over Choi Yew Wah (Malaysia) in his penultimate Group F match in the 2005 IBSF World snooker championship. The way he has been improving virtually in every encounter is a throwback to China last year, when he recovered from a rocky start to reach the pinnacle. Pankaj finished the match in 45 minutes, cranking out breaks of 71 in the first (91-6) 47 and 39 in the second (96-0), 63 in the third (63-16) and a 105 (106-1) in the fourth. With nine wins out of nine he will receive a stern test when he faces the hugely talented young Chinese Xiao Goudong in his last league match.

Kobkit Palajin (Thailand) went on a scoring spree against South Africa's Mutaliep Allie in his last Group D match, his 4-0 win studded with contributions of 90, 95 and 60. With a perfect ten in the group the young Thai is one step ahead of Pankaj.

Alok's resolve

For sheer granite hard resolve, there are few who can match national snooker champion Alok Kumar. Pitted against the dangerous Thai Supoj Saenla in a must-win match , the bespectacled ONGC employee ground his opponent to fine powder in a stunning 4-1 victory. His final position in Group B has not yet emerged but he will most probably qualify for the knockout stages if he, as expected wins his last match against everyone's bunny Laszlo Penzes (Hungary).

Compatriot Manan Chandra, who was in red-hot form in his earlier matches, crashed to a 3-4 defeat against the 18-year-old Malaysian Moh Keen Ho in a Group C match but should still qualify as the number 4 in the group.

The Indian No.4 Rafath Habib kept his chances of qualifying alive from Group E with a gritty 4-3 win over the longhaired German Lasse Munstermann. India's Geet Sethi prevailed in his last group encounter against Rene Hemelsoet 3-0 to finish number two in Group A of the senior event. It has been a good tournament for him so far and the re-discovery of his appetite for the game might see him make waves in the competition.

However, the senior who has drawn rave notices so far is the 45-year-old Alan Trigg (England). Ever since his first match he has been suffering from a pinched nerve in his back and has had to be brought into the arena in a wheel chair. That has not prevented the portly Englishman from rifling in two centuries so far.

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