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Ding Edges Through in Thailand
Ding Junhui narrowly avoided group stage elimination on day three of the Sangsom Six Red World Championship in Bangkok.
The World Championship runner-up needed to win his final game, after suffering a 5-0 defeat in his morning match with Dominic Dale. The Welshman made a break of 57 in the last frame to wrap up a whitewash win and secure qualification.
Ding saw off Australia’s Ryan Thomerson 5-1 in his second match. The world number nine made breaks of 72 and 67 on his way to the win. The victory meant that Ding was locked with Thailand’s Phaitoon Phonbun on two wins, however Ding edged through on frame difference.
His opponent in the last 32 will be former Six Red World Champion Mark Davis, who came through the first stage with an unbeaten record. Davis rounded off his group campaign with a 5-2 win over Germany’s Lukas Kleckers and then a 5-0 defeat of home favourite Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.
Mark Williams had to settle for fourth place in Group G, as he scraped through to the last 32. The two-time World Champion lost his opening match of the day 5-3 against Stephen Maguire. However, he secured a 5-3 win over Suchakree Poomjaeng to clinch the final qualifying spot.
Crucible winner Mark Selby eased into the knockout stages, as he looks to add another world title to his CV. The world number one secured wins over Boonyarit Kaettikul and Matthew Selt to ensure he progressed.
Pankaj Advani came through Group C unscathed, finishing in top spot. He defeated Robert Milkins 5-4, before turning the tables on Ding’s whitewash conqueror Dominic Dale with a 5-0 win. The multiple billiards World Champion faces Lukas Kleckers in the last 32.