India’s Pankaj Advani continued his dream run by defeating World No.32 Michael Holt of England 6-4 to qualify for snooker’s richest tournament, the International Championship, here Wednesday.
In a best-of-11 frame match that was played over 180 minutes, Advani took a 3-0 lead. Fighting back for a position in the game, Holt won frames four and five to narrow the deficit, but the Indian took the sixth for a 4-2 advantage.
The more experienced Holt lost the seventh frame too before winning two consecutive frames to cut Advani’s lead to 5-4. Advani, however, claimed the 10th to secure his berth in the main draw of the tournament that is to be held in China in October.
Commenting on his dream run through the qualification rounds, Advani said: “I am extremely proud of this victory as it puts the country on the world map in international professional snooker. Having chosen to play the circuit as recently as July 2012, I am glad this victory came so soon.”
Advani’s qualification was all the more significant considering the quality of players he beat, including former World champion, the legendary Steve Davis, and former top-10 player Alan McManus.