Wales' Ryan Day and Mark Williams watch on as China A's Ding Junhui makes a 62 break in the quarterfinal of the 2017 Little Swan World Cup in Wuxi, Jiangsu province on July 8. (Photo provided to China Daily)
Ding Junhui and Zhou Yuelong were the heroes as both Chinese teams secured spots in the semifinals of the 2017 Little Swan Snooker World Cup in Wuxi, Jiangsu province on July 8.
Local hero Ding arrived to his evening match to a deafening whoop from his hometown crowd, and the world number four seemed determined to live up to this reception as he inspired his China A team to a comfortable 4-1 victory over a talented Wales side.
Liang Wenbo got China A off to a good start by holding his nerve to clear the table to win a tight first frame against two-time world champion Mark Williams.
Ding then showed his ruthlessness by punishing an error by Riga Masters champion Ryan Day with a 68 break, forcing the Welshman to concede soon after and hand China A a 2-0 lead.
The Chinese star was warming to his task now, and in the following doubles frame he racked up a 62 break at a blistering pace, then put the frame beyond Wales after a beautiful table-length long pot from the cushion.
Day kept Wales in the match with an excellent 69 break in response to Liang's 44 to pull the score back to 3-1.
But the next frame paired Ding with Williams, and there was only ever one winner on this form.
The world number four made a rapid-fire 43 before tightening up, but Williams was unable to take advantage and Ding made the frame safe after fluking the green.
"Both sides played in a prudent manner in the deciding frame. We tried to defend against each other and were both reluctant to take risks at the beginning. Both of us had good chances to win, but fortune smiled on us in the end," said Ding.
"Our performances were a bit better than yesterday. Both Ding and I played stable," said Liang.