Indian Oil cueist Aditya Mehta produced a tremendous performance to stun arch-rival Pankaj Advani 7-3 in the final of the Rs 12.9 lakh CCI All India Open Snooker Championship on Tuesday. It was a great comeback for the lanky Mumbai-based Mehta, who has been struggling due to some health issues and has been playing with an unorthodox stance and cueing action.
He did well to cruise to a 62-60, 0-91, 38-63, 37-70, 74-39, 79-7, 62-59, 84-13, 72-13, 65-19 victory. Mehta received the ‘Champions’ trophy and a handsome cheque of Rs 2 lakh, while Advani got the runners-up prize of Rs 1.30 lakh. Advani also pocketed Rs 25,000 for the highest break of 131 he had craftily constructed in the round of 64 match.
The top-ranked Indian Advani showed promise at the start and on his second visit made a 53-run to gain the advantage, but a couple of visits later he fouled on the pink and Mehta did not waste time as he neatly rolled in a 56 break to take the opening honours. Bengaluru-based National champion Advani of ONGC came good in the second and, after making a 29-run at the start, he followed it up with a break of 62 to pocket the frame and tie the scores.
Later, Advani won the next two by close margins to take a 3-1 lead. However, Mehta, playing with plenty of guts and gumption, managed to snatch the fifth to bridge the gap. He then constructed a superb 79 clearance to win the sixth and to go into the short interval with the scores level at 3-3.
Mehta maintained the winning momentum on resumption and came up with a timely 43 clearance to snatch the seventh frame to lead 4-3. Thereafter, he played with greater confidence and potted more consistently as he went on to also pocket the subsequent three frames to wrap up the match and emerge champion.