Noppon Saengkham beats Luca Brecel to book place in second round

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Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham sunk 11th seed Luca Brecel to book his place in the second round of the World Snooker Championships in Sheffield for the second time.

The world number 38 turned a 6-3 overnight advantage into a 10-5 victory over the Belgian, who had arrived at the Crucible on the back of his best season to date.

Saengkham, who lost a final-frame decider to Mark Selby in the second round two years ago, fired two centuries in the first session on Wednesday but Brecel gave himself hope by grabbing the final two frames of the day.

Betfred World Snooker Championships 2022 – Day 5 – The Crucible
Luca Brecel was beaten by Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham at the Crucible (Richard Sellers/PA)

Three consecutive frames upon the resumption moved Saengkham one from victory and he had a sniff of a 147 to wrap up the win after potting the first six reds and blacks with all the balls in a good position.

But after Saengkham ran aground, Brecel, who reached the final of the UK Championship and won the Scottish Open in December, hit back with his first half-century of the match to reduce the deficit.

A flamboyant century in the next took Brecel to within four frames but Saengkham was unfazed and completed his victory in the next frame to set up a last-16 meeting with eight-time Crucible finalist John Higgins.

Betfred World Snooker Championships 2022 – Day 6 – The Crucible
Mark Williams established a 7-1 lead over Jackson Page (Mike Egerton/PA)

Mark Williams fired three centuries and five further breaks of 50-plus as he established a 7-1 overnight advantage over Jackson Page in their second-round match.

Page, who is good friends with Williams and trains at his club in Tredegar, was blown away by the three-time world champion who produced one of the dominant sessions of his career.

Only a rare miss by Williams in the final frame of the day gave Page the chance to avoid a first session whitewash, clearing with an impressive break of 43, but he has it all to do to avoid defeat with a session to spare when they resume on Friday morning.

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