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Jamie Jones takes commanding lead over Liang Wenbo as Lisowski and Stevens close in on Crucible return

Jones enjoyed a dream opening session against Liang (credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Jamie Jones moved to within a single frame of qualifying for the final stages of the World Championship after establishing a comprehensive 9-0 lead over Liang Wenbo in Sheffield on Tuesday.

The Welshman, who reached the quarter-finals on his Crucible debut in 2012, has all but secured his return to the Theatre of Dreams after a dominant opening session against the world number 19.

Jones recorded eight breaks over 50 against a helpless Liang, who was unable to replicate his performance levels from earlier in the week that saw him come agonisingly close to producing two maximums in a single match against Rod Lawler in round one.

Xiao Guodong has also closed in on a third appearance at the Crucible after opening up an 8-1 advantage over home favourite Adam Duffy, while Jack Lisowski and Lyu Haotian hold 7-2 leads against Alan McManus and Rory McLeod respectively.

Ryan Day and Stephen Maguire are also in a good position to book their places in the final draw.

Two-time ranking event winner Day established a 6-3 cushion against 2002 World champion Peter Ebdon, while Maguire repeated the feat against Hossein Vafaei.

Meanwhile, Michael White holds a precarious 5-4 lead over Jimmy Robertson, as does Liam Highfield against Daniel Wells in the battle of the potential Crucible debutants.

Xiao has closed in on a third appearance at the Crucible (Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Earlier in the day, Chris Wakelin moved to within two frames of his first appearance at the Crucible after hitting a top break of 125 on the way to taking an 8-1 lead against Tian Pengfei.

Elsewhere, a run of 108 was the highlight of a dominant opening session for Joe Perry, who moved 7-2 up on Mark Davis – the same scoreline by which Matthew Stevens and Robert Milkins lead Ken Doherty and Michael Holt respectively.

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh produced a break of 109 in the final frame of the session to edge his nose in front against Alfie Burden at 5-4, while Mike Dunn took frame nine on the colours for a slender advantage over former World champion Graeme Dott.

Despite being pegged back to 4-4 from 4-0 up, Stuart Carrington regained his composure to move back in front against Zhang Anda, and Ricky Walden is also 5-4 to the good against Andrew Higginson.

Betfred World Championship Qualifiers 2018 Scores


Tuesday April 17

Third Round 

Stuart Carrington 5-4 Zhang Anda
Graeme Dott 4-5 Mike Dunn
Michael Holt 2-7 Robert Milkins
Matthew Stevens 7-2 Ken Doherty
Andrew Higginson 4-5 Ricky Walden
Mark Davis 2-7 Joe Perry
Tian Pengfei 1-8 Chris Wakelin
Alfie Burden 4-5 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh

Ryan Day 6-3 Peter Ebdon
Daniel Wells 4-5 Liam Highfield
Adam Duffy 1-8 Xiao Guodong
Rory McLeod 2-7 Lyu Haotian
Liang Wenbo 0-9 Jamie Jones
Jack Lisowski 7-2 Alan McManus
Jimmy Robertson 4-5 Michael White
Hossein Vafaei 3-6 Stephen Maguire


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Jamie Jones takes commanding lead over Liang Wenbo as Lisowski and Stevens close in on Crucible return

Jamie Jones moved to within a single frame of qualifying for the final stages of the World Championship after establishing a comprehensive 9-0 lead over Liang Wenbo in Sheffield on Tuesday.

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