Wales produced a scintillating performance to hammer Finland 5-0 in the World Cup as the seeded teams began to take a bigger grip on the round-robin stage in Wuxi.
It was always likely that the in-form Welsh pairing of Mark Williams and Ryan Day would do some damage in this tournament after strong recent showings on the Main Tour.
Day bagged his maiden ranking title in June at the Riga Masters, an event in which Williams also reached the semi-finals having in April embarked on a run to the final of the China Open.
The duo have lost only two frames in their opening three league matches, and put an end to the Finn challenge with breaks of 52, 55, 109, and a stunning 140 from Day.
It leaves Wales sitting pretty at the top of Group A with 13 points and two games remaining, while defending champions China B are also in a good position to progress after a convincing 4-1 defeat of Brazil sent them above the South Americans.
Meanwhile, China A and Belgium continued their fine progress in Group B with 4-1 victories over Egypt and Germany respectively.
2011 champion Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo will have the majority of the home support on their side and it looks like they will be coasting into the quarter-finals alongside Luca Brecel’s Belgium.
Hong Kong, the only nation out of the top eight seeds not currently in the top two in their group, lag three points behind in third despite a 4-1 triumph against Ireland which effectively eliminates the veteran couple Ken Doherty and Fergal O’Brien.
In Group C, England remain in a commanding position after emerging from a gruelling contest with Iran with a 4-1 success.
Like Wales, Judd Trump and Barry Hawkins – who represent the highest ranked pair in the competition – have surrendered just two frames so far and all but guaranteed a spot in the knock out phase.
Australia lie three points back after recording a similar scoreline against Switzerland, while Iran and Malta still harbour some hope a further three points adrift.
Finally, Northern Ireland secured their third victory of the week with a 3-2 beating of the dangerous Thailand team to narrowly top Group D.
By far the closest of the groups, only four points separates Mark Allen and Joe Swail’s outfit in first with Israel in fifth.
John Higgins and Anthony McGill’s Scotland moved into second after a 4-1 defeat of Israel, with India and Thailand still in the mix as well in what is surely going to be a tense conclusion to that group.
Coverage continues on Eurosport.
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