Pankaj to clash with Joshi for IBSF title

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Bangalore, Sept 9 (UNI) Former Asian Billiards Champion Devender Joshi today defeated compatriot Rupesh Shah 1228-820 to set up the title clash with defending World Champion Pankaj Advani in the finals of the ONGC IBSF World Billiards Championship (timed format).

Keen contest is in store in the title clash tomorrow with the 23- year-old Bangalore lad aiming for sixth World title, while World Pro-Billiards runner up Joshi will be eyeing for his maiden IBSF title.

Earlier defending champion Pankaj Advani continued to defy nine times world champion Geet Sethi and defeated the veteran 1269-1003 in the first semifinal. Pankaj had tamed the multi title winner in the point format championship to win the crown last week.

In the second semifinal Joshi, who had earned a 190 points lead in the first session at 551-361 with breaks of 104 and 224, kept Shah at an arm's length throughout to win the match with a comfortable margin of over 400 points.

Shah in the first session had breaks of 103 in seventh visit followed by 53 in the 17th and 69 in 21st visit but it was not enough to catch the Mumbai-based star cueist.

The Ahmedabad based pro neither could improve his lagging concentration nor minimise the mistakes and for most part of the second session remained to far back to bridge the gap.

In the second session Joshi kept increasing his lead with breaks at 168 in 31st followed by 126 in 35th visit, while Shah's highest break being 92 in the 38th visit.

Finals will be played in three sessions.

Results (Semifinals): Pankaj Advani 1269 (breaks-161/11, 397/16, 165/28, 92/29) bt Geet Sethi 1003 (57/11, 182/12, 55/14, 90/31, 151/41) Devendra Joshi 1228 (Breaks: 127/26, 53/27, 168/31, 126/35) bt Rupesh Shah 820 (: 70/24, 91/31, 86/34, 92/38).

UNI MSP RS GM1954

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