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O’Sullivan Beats ‘Mr Bean’ To Reach Round Three

Poomjaeng is a fans’ favourite

Ronnie O’Sullivan compared charismatic Dechawat Poomjaeng to Mr Bean after beating the smiling Thai 4-2 in an entertaining second round match at the BetVictor English Open.

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Once described by Stephen Maguire as “not quite the full shilling”, Poomjaeng had been much missed on the tour during a five year absence, but regained his place via Asia-Oceania Q School in August and reminded a packed crowd in Brentwood of his captivating antics around the table. The lowest ranked player on the circuit, at 130, threatened an upset when he led the world number one 2-0, but O’Sullivan recovered to take four frames in a row and set up a last 32 meeting with Martin Gould on Thursday at 1pm.

After losing the opening frame, O’Sullivan made an excellent 49 clearance in the second to force a repotted black. That led to a succession of outlandish shots on the black from both players, before Poomjaeng potted it for 2-0. But World Champion O’Sullivan responded to the challenge by winning the next four frames with breaks of 61, 69, 104 and 76.

“I thought there was no point trying to play straight forward snooker, let’s just have a laugh,” said O’Sullivan. “I went for some doubles and trebles, some of them went in, crazy things can happen when you go for it. He’s like a Mr Bean type character, he pulls these funny faces and his mannerisms – he should go into comedy, he’s such a character.  I was enjoying just going for my shots and trying to make something happen.”

Looking ahead to his next match against Gould, O’Sullivan added:  “He’s a fantastic player, amazing. It’s good to see him back to form and I’ll have to play a lot better to win because he looks like he’s on fire.”

World number nine Zhao Xintong, who needs to reach at least the quarter-finals this week to climb into the top 32 of the one-year ranking list and earn a place in the World Grand Prix, took a step towards that goal with a 4-0 win over Andres Petrov. Zhao has lost his voice due to illness, but let his cue do the talking with breaks of 70, 83, 51 and 135.

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, a semi-finalist at the recent BetVictor Scottish Open, is also looking to secure his World Grand Prix spot and is now up to 28th – for updates on that race click here. He made a 122 in a 4-1 win over Tian Pengfei.

Jack Lisowski needed just 51 minutes to beat Stuart Carrington 4-0, knocking in breaks of 83, 111, 63 and 61. Marco Fu top scored with 75 in a 4-1 win over Peter Lines, while Matthew Selt came from 3-1 down to edge out Louis Heathcote 4-3, making an 87 in the decider.

Barry Hawkins compiled runs of 126 and 101 in a 4-2 defeat of Muhammad Asif, while Shaun Murphy also had two centuries, 119 and 127, as he beat Sam Craigie 4-1.

The world’s top 13 players are still in the line-up, going into the last 32.

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