Advani hits maximum on day one of Asian Snooker Six Reds Championship

Denzil Pinto 08:22 19/05/2016
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Pankaj during his opening match.

The Indian ace was already 4-0 up in the best of nine frames match and the 30-year-old ended the day in style to register a comfortable 5-0 (78-0, 37-30, 41-5, 57-1, 75-0) win over the UAE’s Bader Obaid Almehairi in Group B.

It was the second victory for Advani, who had earlier beaten Saudi Arabia’s Nezar Aseeri by the same scoreline.

“It was a great start for me,” said Advani, a semi-finalist in last month’s Asian Snooker Championships in Doha.

“I was actually trying for the 75 from the first frame this morning but I missed out on two or three occasions. When I had the chance in the last frame, I was 4-0 up and I thought I may as well go for it.

“To be honest, my opponents did not capitalise on the opportunities I gave them. I gave them a few chances but I think I was let off the hook. I wouldn’t say I played my best but it’s a good, decent start.”

There was something to smile for the home crowd at the Novotel Hotel in Abu Dhabi, as UAE’s Saif Al Shamsi and Mohamed Shehab won both their games.

Al Shamsi, 28, defeated Hong Kong’s Lin Tang Ho 5-1 in his Group A opener but was made to work for his 5-4 triumph over Afghanistan’s Salah Mohammadi. UAE’s top-ranked Shehab, runner-up in the Asian Snooker Championship in Qatar, beat Sri Lanka’s Sasika Perera 5-0 and Hong Kong’s Ming Wa Man 5-3 in Group E.

“It was good to win but there are some top class players here and it is going to be a challenge,” said Shehab.

The 39-year-old is expecting more stern tests over the next four days, as he added: “The Asian Championship is tougher than the World Championship. Last World Championship, 80 percent were Asian Players so you can judge how tough it is here in Asia. The quality of the field is strong but I’m confident of doing well.”

Elsewhere, 2010 Asian Games bronze medallist Aditya Mehta and Pakistan’s Muhammad Asif each won twice.

For Mehta, it was his first appearance in five months after recovering from a neck and shoulder injury.

“For me this format is a bit different and coming out of the injury I’m just feeling my way back,” said the 30-year-old.

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