Iran’s only professional Hossein Vafaei Ayouri qualified for the final stages of a ranking event for the first time by beating Dominic Dale 5-3 in the Australian Goldfields Open.
Visa problems prevented Hossein from playing in the UK until this year, but he is now able to compete on the pro circuit and showed his quality with four wins in Crawley this week to earn a place in the televised stages in Bendigo. He came from 2-0 down to beat Dale, having previously knocked out Charlie Walters, Zak Surety and Lee Walker.
Ali Carter, who has dropped out of the world’s top 16 following his battle with cancer last season, earned his place Down Under by beating Kyren Wilson 5-1 with a top break of 72.
Mark King was hauled back from 4-1 to 4-4 by Allan Taylor but won the deciding frame with a 47 clearance. Mark Joyce edged out Luca Brecel 5-4, winning the decider 63-1.
Martin Gould top scored with 74 in a 5-1 win over Michael Leslie while Jack Lisowski beat Jimmy Robertson by the same scoreline.
Also through to Bendigo are Jamie Jones, Matthew Selt, Ian Burns, Andrew Higginson, Joel Walker, Ben Woollaston, Fergal O’Brien, Jamie Burnett, Michael Georgiou and Gerard Greene. The first ranking event of the season runs from June 29 to July 5.