From Bangkok to Beijing: Day Two News

Day Two from Asia and things continue to go well for world number two Stephen Maguire in Beijing while over in Bangkok, Issara Kachaiwong in particular has caught the eye with a number of impressive victories…

Beijing International Challenge

Following his excellent victory over Marco Fu yesterday, Stephen Maguire has followed it up with a 3-1 win over Mark Allen on day two of the Beijing International Challenge. As you can see from the video at the top of the page, footage from of tournament is now starting to emerge of the event over at YouTube and you can view what is available by clicking here.

In the second match of the day, Fu responded to defeat yesterday by gaining revenge over Tian Pengfei for the defeat suffered against his young opponent earlier this year in the China Open. The final match scheduled was that between Liang Wenbo and Ali Carter, but the result has not been made available yet so we will have to wait.

EDIT: Liang Wenbo won the match 3-0.

Tomorrow’s fixtures are:

Stephen Hendry v Ali Carter
Jin Long v Liang Wenbo
Tian Pengfei v Mark Allen

Sangsom 6-Red World Grand Prix

Over in Thailand meanwhile  it has been another intriguing day as the groups are now beginning to take shape.

In Group A things are looking good for Judd Trump who tops the table with four wins from four including an impressive 5-1 victory over defending champion Ricky Walden. Ricky should still make it through to the knock-out stages however as he currently occupies second place, though only on frames difference ahead of the impressive Phaithoon Phonbun from Thailand. the fourth and final qaulifying spot looks to be heading the way of Mohammed Al Joker, though he defeat to Fung Kwok Wai tomorrow would leave him needing to beat Daniel Thorp in his other match.

Moving to Group B, Shaun Murphy looks to be certain of a place in the knock-out draw with three wins from three, one of which coming against fellow pro James Wattana. As a result despite an excellent 5-1 victory over Nigel Bond, James has work to do if he is to make the last 32 as both Bond and Maltese player Alex Borg occupy second and third places in the group with two wins from three so far. Fifth place Aditya Mehta looks to be the only man capable of edging out Wattana but with an inferior frames difference, he will probably need to defeat Wattana heavily and win his other match in order to do so.

Over in Group C, world champion John Higgins has recovered well from his nightmare start yesterday to win his next two matches, but nevertheless finds himself behind both Matthew Stevens and Mohammed Sajjad who have an impressive three wins from their four matches played. Sajjad’s results are particularly impressive given the higher profile of the players he has beaten such as Higgins, Noppadon Noppachorn and Sascha Lippe. Though Bahrain’s Habib Subah remains in contention for the final qualifying spot, the key match looks to me to be that between Lippe and  Noppachorn tomorrow and I would expect the winner to take fourth place.

Containing three top professionals and Supoj Saenla who has just been relegated from the tour, Group D is proving to be predictably tight with Michael Holt, Ryan Day and Ken Doherty fighting it out for the top three. With four wins from four it is Holt who has been the real star so far, beating both Day and Saenla to top the group. Ryan did though manage to overcome Ken Doherty in a deciding frame to leave both well-placed with two wins from three, with Saenla and Ang Boon Chin scrapping it out over fourth place.

While Joe Swail and Jimmy White are among the stars in Group E however, it is home favourite Issara Kachaiwong who has set the baize alight with a string of brilliant victories against his more experienced opposition. Yesterday he managed to see off Swail with a 5-1 win but having now added the scalps of White and world number 12 Joe Perry to his collection, he is certain to make the knock-out stages, probably in top spot. Behind him White and Perry nevertheless look well-placed to join him but with three defeats from three, Joe Swail is in real danger of becoming a high-profile exit from the competition at this early stage with Mohammed Shehab now having won two matches in the group.

Similarly in Group F, while Peter Ebdon and Stuart Bingham are the two marquee names, it is instead Welsh veteran Darren Morgan and tour professional Noppadol Sangnil who have set the running to occupy the top two spaces in the group. While those two look set to qualify, the battle for the next two spots are wide open with three players on one win.

It is not as wide open as Group G however which has already seen wins for all six participants, three of whom have won twice. Indeed it is those three (Mark Williams, Dave Harold and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh), that you would have to fancy to occupy the top three spots at the end of tomorrow but they cannot afford any slip-ups as defeat in their final two matches could leave them vulnerable to the chasing pack.

Finally Group H  looks to have been negotiated safely by Mark King and Barry Hawkins, while new professional Brendan O’Donoghue looks good to finish third with two wins from his four matches so far. The final qualifying spot is currently occupied by Mohammed Kayat but despite Atthasit Mahitthi having lost all three of his matches so far, with his final two coming against less experienced players such as Kayat and Vietnam’s Nguyen Nhat Thanh, he still has every chance of making it at his expense.