Indore, Dec 1: Pankaj Advani proclaimed himself as the undisputed king of the Indian green baize in no uncertain terms here on Sunday. Pankaj Advani holding the trophy.
Last week he had beaten legend Geet Sethi in the billiards final. Today he beat Manan Chandra in the snooker final by 6-1 frames in the best-of-11 final before a goodly crowd at the Yeshwant Club. It was for the second year running that Pankaj claimed the double. Geet Sethi's record of four in a row from 1985 now beckons.
Said Pankaj: "Considering the high standard of the game I am happy to have maintained my form.'' In a refreshing change, we had the chief guest Maharani Yashodara Raje Scindia watching the final from the first frame. That was because the BJP MP was a sports minister of Madhya Pradesh and had introduced billiards tables in some government schools.
It looked as if Pankaj and Manan would serve a royal treat when Pankaj hit a 67 and after he missed a centre-pocket pot Manan hit back with a 52 before a double-kiss on the black left it open for Pankaj to go one-up.
That miss looked symptomatic of the final because the second frame slumped to boring depths and the royal treat was getting soured sooner than later. The second frame took nearly fifty minutes. Pankaj showed mastery over the defensive aspect of the game. Manan was affected by it. After that it was a question of noting who made the more misses.
Obviously it was Manan, for he thrives on the faster game than more than Pankaj. In this tournament Pankaj had shown a healthy appetite for a battle of attrition like the 4-3 tussle against Sethi in snooker.
Manan Chandra said: "After the long second frame I lost my rhythm. I just could not find my touch.'' Sad for one who had made back-to-back centuries in the quarters.