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Shaun Murphy qualifies for first ranking final since 2021 at the Welsh Open

Irish pro Shaun Murphy will face Robert Milkins in Sunday’s Welsh Open final after defeating China’s Pang Junxu 6-3 in Llandudno.

Murphy, who produced a 147 clearance in his fourth-round defeat of Daniel Wells earlier this week, has reached his first ranking final since the 2021 World Championship.

The 40-year-old opened up a 4-2 lead in a tight contest with the help of a break of 58 in the sixth frame.

Pang responded with a score of 62 in the next, but Murphy regained his two-frame cushion and produced an 83-break in the final frame to seal victory.

Earlier on Saturday, Milkins beat China's Tian Pengfei 6-2 to stay on course to land the £150,000 European series bonus.

Victory on Sunday will assure Milkins of top spot in the BetVictor Series ranking list, which has run across eight events since last July.

The 46-year-old from Gloucester made breaks of 61, 109, 89 and 82 against Pang, who failed to reproduce the form that had seen him beat Ali Carter, John Higgins and Ronnie O'Sullivan to reach his first ranking semi-final.

Milkins told World Snooker Tour after reaching his second ranking final: "It's massive, the biggest game of my life. I don't know how I'm going to cope.

"It would be enough just playing for the title, let alone everything that goes with it. I don't know if I'll be able to stand up, but I might rise to the occasion."

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