Indian cueist Aditya Mehta on Thursday set up a mouth-watering quarter-final clash against compatriot Pankaj Advani after ending the challenge of double World champion Mark Williams in the Indian Open snooker tournament here.
History-making Mehta became only the second Indian cueist after Advani to reach the quarterfinal of the world ranking snooker event when he put it across World No.18 Williams 4-2 in a dramatic pre-quarterfinal finish.
Advani had brought India on to the global map of snooker by storming into the quarterfinals of the Welsh Open earlier this year.
The match between Advani and Mehta holds a lot of significance as it would be for the first time the two Indian cueists will be up against each other on the professional tour and whoever wins this evening will progress to the semi-finals of the ranking event, another first for India.
In the morning session, Advani had notched up a hard-fought 4-3 win over World No.12 Stuart Bingham.
Being made to play a 10am match after a long and intense game the previous night, Advani lived up to his reputation of overcoming adversity, closing out a worthy opponent Bingham in the decider of the best-of-seven frames.
Battling and getting the better of World No.11 Mark Allen`s challenge till 11pm yesterday, Advani, an eight-time world champion, had to be back on the table in less than 12 hours against one of the toughest competitors in the fray.
Advani started well with a break of 53 to capture the first frame convincingly. Bingham, the dangerous customer that he is, responded with a fluent 110 break levelling the match 1-1.
The Indian pulled back the next two frames with 67 and 53 breaks, being only one frame away from rewriting snooker history. But that wasn`t meant to happen in a hurry. Bingham rose to the occasion of impending defeat to enforce the decider with big breaks of 72 and 119.
In the decider, with momentum in Bingham`s favour, Advani was not the favourite.