Shaun Murphy's Stunning Red Hotshot! | 2023 Duelbits Tour Championship

Higgins Progresses With Whitewash

John Higgins blitzed to a 5-0 win over Thai amateur Poramin Danjirakul, in their winner takes all clash to progress from Group C at the Pathum Thani Six Red World Championship.

The Wizard of Wishaw had mixed fortunes on day one, leading him to need a win this morning to remain in the competition. An opening 5-2 victory against 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty yesterday was followed by a heavy 5-1 loss at the hands of Iran’s Hossein Vafaei.

Danjirakul retained ambitions of qualifying after he beat Doherty 5-3 last night. However, that would turn out to to be his highlight of the week, with the razor sharp Higgins proving to be too much for him today.

Scotland’s four-time World Champion Higgins crafted breaks of 62 and 71 on his way to the win. However, it is Vafaei who finishes top of the group after he completed a clean sweep of wins by defeating Doherty 5-1.

After a difficult season, which sees Higgins in 47th position on the one-year list, the Glaswegian is showing green shoots of a return to form after winning the Championship League last week. He believes this turnaround is partly down to alterations to his cue.

Higgins revealed: “I am a little bit more comfortable with the cue size now. I was frightened to go down to the size I am at now, because I thought it might be too short. I decided to make the change after the Welsh Open. I have gone shorter with it than I have been for 20 years. At first I wondered if I made the right choice, but now I think it is better. It will help me for the rest of my career.

“It was a tough group with Ken and Hossein. I didn’t know that much about the Poramin. You are just concentrating on getting in the top two to make the last 16. Now I’ve come second so I could have a tougher match, but you have to beat them all to win the event.”

World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan made a strong start to his first ever appearance in this event, beating Jimmy Robertson 5-3 in an entertaining encounter.

The Rocket blitzed to the first two frames in rapid fashion, crafting a brilliant break of 64 in the second to move 2-0 in front.

Requiring the last two balls in the third, Robertson was perfect on the pink with the black on its spot. However, he fell out of position after receiving a kick on the pink and missed a harder than expected black. Eventually O’Sullivan deposited the black to move further ahead.

Robertson showed his class and won the next three frames, but it was O’Sullivan who won the eighth to secure his 5-3 win. Elsewhere in the group Thai legend James Wattana beat English teenager Stan Moody 5-1.

Former finalist Stuart Bingham booked his place in the last 16 with a 5-2 win over Jordan Brown. He will be joined in the next stage by Noppon Saengkham, who Mahmoud El Hareedy 5-1.

Judd Trump had to rally from 4-1 down to beat Kritsanut Lerstsattayathorn 5-4 and move to the verge of qualification. Meanwhile Ricky Walden won the other match in the group, beating China’s WSF Champion Ma Hai Long 5-1 to remain in contention for the next round.

Joe Perry beat three-time World Champion Mark Williams 5-2 to seize the early initiative in Group F. Estonia’s tour rookie Andres Petrov sits in second spot after defeating Sunny Akani 5-3.

For full day two results click here

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