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Pankaj Advani pips Causier to reach final

By The Assam Tribune

LEEDS, Oct 29 (IANS): Pankaj Advani squeezed out a thrilling five-point win over David Causier of England in the semi-finals to put himself in line for a double in the World Billiards championship here on Monday.

In the four-hour semi-final, Advani, winner of the points format title last week, was saved by the clock as he beat Causier 1180-1175 and set up a clash with England�s Robert Hall who put out Balachandra Bhaskar 978-824.

The final, spread over five hours, is scheduled to be played Tuesday from 6.30 pm (IST) with Advani poised to repeat his feat in 2008 when he won both points and timed format titles.

Advani, the 29-year old from Bangalore, was slow off the blocks as he trailed by 100 points initially before shifting gears to open up a lead of over 400 points following breaks of 94, 61, 304, 103 and 114.

However, last year�s runner-up Causier, who had started well with breaks of 93, 96, 62 and 92, responded in style to reduce the deficit with runs of 91, 170 and 188.

Amidst mounting excitement, Causier, inched his way to a 1173-1170 lead after having trailed by 73 points. A wrong shot selection at this juncture by Causier put Advani on.

Advani picked up seven points before missing a shot to allow Causier back on table. The Englishman managed to win two points when the clock alarm sounded signalling the end of the match leaving Advani winner by five points.

In the other semi-final, Hall was far too consistent for Bhaskar who had taken out defending champion Peter Gilchrist in the previous round earlier in the day.

Crafting breaks of 142, 189, 153 and 116, Hall managed to stay in front throughout the match while Bhaskar managed two century runs of 151 and 143, besides a 211, but could not catch up with his opponent.

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