CCI Snooker Classic 2024: Kamal Chawla beats Lee to meet Pankaj Advani in final

Mumbai, March 2 – Former India No. 1 Kamal Chawla produced a remarkable fight back in the second session, winning five frames in a row to outclass Englishman Stephen Lee 7-3 in the best-of-13-frame semifinal of the Rs 12.5 lakh prize-money CCI Snooker Classic 2024 here on Saturday.

Chawla in the process avenged his loss to Lee at the same stage in the last edition of this event organised by the Cricket Club of India and played at the CCI’s Sir Wilson Jones Billiards Hall here.

Meanwhile, reigning champion Pankaj Advani took his place in the title round by recording an authoritative 7-2 win against Laxman Rawat in the second semifinal. The legendary Indian cueist Advani the proud owner of 27 world titles showed amazing touch and excellent potting skills in romping to a fluent 27-58, 41-62, 75-51, 85-5, 89-39, 80-0, 69-59, 72-50, and 125-0 win.

Advani constructed breaks of 65 in the fourth frame and followed it with runs of 55 and 53 in the next two and then signed off with a neat break of 84 in the ninth to seal the victory.

The lanky Indian cueist trailed 2-3 at the end of the first session, but he returned rejuvenated and played with greater intent as he potted more consistently to turn the heat on the former World professional number five, who surprisingly struggled and was left wanting.

Chwala with a fine effort rolled in a break of 88 to win the sixth and level the frame scores at 3-all. He then compiled a break of 65 to pocket the seventh and went on to take the next two to move within distance of the finish line.

Chawla, having gained in confidence constructed a break 52 to nose ahead, but Lee tried his best to catch up but failed to capitalize on the chances, which proved to be his downfall. Chawla played steadily to win the frame and to close out the match posting a 66-76, 107-10, 42-70, 34-101, 59-31, 88-0, 65-33, 62-24, 66-21, 72-59) victory to advance to the summit round.

“Although I was down 2-3 at the break, it did not bother me. I decided that I have to come back stronger and play positively and went for my shots. We both missed some easy shots, but I was able to play more consistently and make timely breaks, which helped me clinch the win,” a modest Chawla said.

Results:

Semifinals: Kamal Chawla bt Stephen Lee 66-76, 107(85)-10, 42-70, 34-101, 59-31, 88(88)-0, 65(65)-33, 62-24, 66-21, 72(52)-59).

Pankaj Advani bt Laxman Rawat 7-2 (27-58, 41-62, 75-51, 85(65)-5, 89(55)-39, 80(53)-0, 69-59(56), 72-50, 125(84)-0.

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