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Hossein Vafaei denies Shaun Murphy after fire delay at UK Championship

Jonathan Davies in UK Championship

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UK Championship Snooker 2023 | Day Two Preview and Order of Play

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UK Championship Snooker 2023 | Day Three Preview and Order of Play

Vafaei salutes the crowd (Photo by Taka G Wu/Alamy Live News)

Hossein Vafaei sent Shaun Murphy crashing out of the UK Championship following a 6-4 victory in York on Sunday.

Murphy, who lifted this trophy in 2008, was the highest-profile casualty on the second day at the York Barbican Centre, with Vafaei claiming another notable scalp in this event.

Indeed, the Iranian defeated Mark Selby 6-4 at this stage of the UK Championship 12 months ago, and hit a top break of 100 as he prevailed by the same scoreline this time around.

Vafaei’s victory came during the evening session, which had been delayed for an hour as the venue was evacuated and fire brigade called to extinguish a small blaze that had broken out in the reception area.

The Prince of Persia won a scrappy opening two frames, though Murphy responded with 60 before producing a 33 clearance to snatch frame four on the black.

Vafaei restored his two-frame buffer with breaks of 54 and 100 before a run of 78 moved him to the brink of victory.

Murphy, who was also a UK Championship finalist in 2012 and 2017, rallied with 64, but a further contribution of 67 saw his opponent over the line.

Vafaei set up a last-16 showdown with Matthew Selt, who also eliminated a seed in world number 10 Ali Carter following a 6-3 win.

The former Indian Open champion twice came from behind with breaks of 111 and 102, before reeling off the last three frames to prevail.

Earlier in the day, Luca Brecel booked his place in the second round with a 6-4 victory over Yuan SiJun.

The reigning World champion, who is yet to progress beyond the last 16 of any ranking event this season, hit breaks of 127, 108 and 86 along the way.

Next up for him will be Zhang Anda after the recently crowned International Championship winner recovered from 3-2 and 5-4 down to edge out Elliot Slessor 6-5 in a mammoth clash that lasted well over five hours.


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UK Championship 2023 | Day Two Results

Sunday November 26

Round One

Zhang Anda 6-5 Elliot Slessor
Luca Brecel 6-4 Yuan Sijun
Shaun Murphy 4-6 Hossein Vafaei
Ali Carter 3-6 Matthew Selt