England have taken a big step towards qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Little Swan World Cup after defeating Malta 4-1.
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The team made up by Players Champion Judd Trump and World Grand Prix winner Barry Hawkins is considered as one of the favourites for the event and they have now won nine of their first ten frames. They beat Switzerland 5-0 yesterday in their opening group C tie.
Today the English side crafted contributions of 41,84 and 43 as they eased past Malta. Their next fixture sees them face Iran.
The Iranian side of Hossein Vafaei and Soheil Vahedi maintained their unbeaten record, but were made to work for a 3-2 victory over Swizerland. The pair trailed 2-1 after the doubles, but hit back to claim the remaining two singles frames and snatch a narrow win.
They are tied for second spot with Australia who defeated Pakistan 4-1. World number seven Neil Robertson was in fine form for the Aussies, compiling breaks of 91 and 82 during the win.
Belgium put on a fine display to defeat Hong Kong 4-1 and move level with China at the top of group B. The match saw former German Masters finalist Luca Brecel play a pivotal role for the Belgians. He compiled a run of 121 in the fourth frame as his side secured a vital win.
Hosts China were forced into a final frame decider, as they edged past a valiant Germany side spearheaded by Lukas Kleckers. The 21-year-old is making his professional debut this season and he looked comfortable in a match which was dominated by hard fought tactical snooker. Kleckers won both his singles frames against his illustrious opponents Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo. However, 12-time ranking winner Ding took the final frame against Simon Lichtenberg to secure the win.
Group D remains in the balance with both Northern Ireland and Thailand securing narrow 3-2 wins over India and Isreal respectively. Scotland’s side of John Higgins and Anthony McGill were among the pre-tournament favourites and they remain in touch after defeating Cyprus 3-2.
Defending champions Zhou Yuelong and Yan Bingtao form the China B team and they still have work to do if they wish to qualify from group A. They defeated Norway 3-2 this evening to remain level in second spot alongside Wales, who defeated Malaysia 3-2. Brazil’s side of Igor Figueiredo and Itaro Santos currently top the group. They saw off Finland 3-2 in a final frame decider.