Indian hopes of a winner were halted in the final of the 31st ACBS Championships at Kuala Lumpur when Pankaj Advani lost to Pakistan’s Hamza Akbar, in a close tie by the odd frame in thirteen. The young Pakistani won the match 7-6 to bring home the title for his country, after 17 years.
Pankaj Advani vs Hamza Akbar – A Close Affair
The nail-biting final lasted seven hours and both players stuck it out till the very end. Pankaj Advani displayed his composure by making a come back after being a few frames down in the final as well , but for once he did not come through in the end.
The two-time former Asian champion was even leading Akbar 52-22 in the final frame but made a costly mistake with the last red ball. The mistake allowed his opponent to bring down a 30-point deficit and eventually claim the title. With the win, the Pakistani player won a prize pocket of US$ 7,000 with Advani having to be content with a prize pocket of US$ 3,000. This loss was the second in the month of April for Pankaj Advani. In mid-April, Advani had lost the Asian Billiards Title held in Beijing to fellow Indian, Dhruv Sitwala.
Earlier in the tournament, Pankaj Advani had defeated compatriot Kamal Chawla in the quarter-finals and Zhang Yong from China in the semi-finals.
The 22-year old Pakistani player won the title in the end, by the score of 66-43, 43-55, 79-18, 70-2, 28-72, 63-59, 64-57, 79-21, 0-116, 5-78, 8-89, 28-63, 61-52. This was Pakistan’s first title since 1998, when Mohammed Yousuf won the title defeating Thailand’s Phirom Rithhiprasong.