Pankaj retains title, completes a double

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Bangalore, Sep 10 (UNI) Defending Champion Pankaj Advani added one more world title to his kitty by winning the ONGC IBSF World Billiards Championship defeating former Asian Champion Devender Joshi 2368-2022 in the finals played at KSBA Hall here today.

The 23-year-old Bangalore lad, who opened account with a big bang compiling 219 points in the third visit of the first session, went on improving his play by increasing points. In the seventh visit the break was 327, 231 in 10th, 274 in 15th and 56 in 17th visit and that led him in winning the title.

''The first session lead of over 1,000 helped me in winning the match, since Joshi bounced back in the second and third sessions. I had never thought that after having more than 1,000 points lead I would be under pressure. It was really a thrilling final,'' Pankaj said after the match.

Joshi, who was trailing in the first session, seemed to be making a remarkable recovery with break being 338 in 28th visit and 364 in the 30th visit.

''After conceding huge lead, I somehow regrouped my energy to reduce the points in the second session, but for my every visit Pankaj was replying with increasing the points. Pankaj's consistency and improvement was really admirable. I tried my best in the third session but it was not enough,'' said Joshi.

At the fag end of the third session, Joshi succeeded in scoring his tournament's highest 557 in his 37th visit followed by 208 in 44th and 103 in 45th. Since time was running out, his efforts went in vain.

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