x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Bingham beats Holt 7-3 to enter final

Stuart Bingham of England became the first player to march into the final of the SangSom 6-red Snooker International.

BANGKOK // The world no 21 Stuart Bingham of England became the first player to march into the final of the SangSom 6-red Snooker International, defeating compatriot and world No 34 Michael Holt 7-3 at the Montien Riverside Hotel yesterday. Bingham, who had only made it to the knockout stages of the inaugural tournament after finishing fourth in Group E, recovered dramatically to record some impressive victories late in the event. He was in complete control of his semifinal clash with Holt and succeeded in doing whatever the situation called for.

Bingham, a former world amateur champion, produced breaks of 63, 59 and 50 and also snookered his opponent time and again during the encounter to make things even more difficult for Holt who did the early legwork to cruise to a 2-1 advantage, but from that point on, it was Bingham's show. The Essex professional walked away with five frames in a row to grab a massive 6-2 lead. Though Holt was able to steal the 10th frame, Bingham had little problem in wrapping up the match in the next.

Bingham will face the winner of the clash between the Thai star James Wattana and Ricky Walden, the English professional and world No 35, who had entered the knockout fray as the top-ranked qualifier from Group G. Earlier in the quarter-finals, Wattana did well to edge the world No23 Nigel Bond 7-6 in a marathon that kept a large crowd engrossed in the match for more than two hours. Wattana had captured a 4-1 lead, but failed to hang on to it allowing Bond to hit back and secure a 4-4 tie.

The pattern repeated itself as Wattana let a 6-4 advantage slip from his hands to see Bond level the scores again. The deciding 13th frame could have gone either way, but the Thai and former world No 3 managed to scrape through by orchestrating the exchanges effectively. Walden moved into the semi finals after scoring a 7-5 victory over compatriot Jimmy Michie, while Bingham handed out a 7-3 loss to Martin Gould also of England.

Holt was the one who delivered a blow to the Thai hopes of having more than the singular presence of Wattana in the last four stage. He registered a comfortable 7-4 quarter-final victory over Noppadon Noppachorn, a former world amateur champion, who had been in brilliant form in the tournament. @Email:sport@thenational.ae