Judd Trump on top against wasteful Hossein Vafaei

Judd Trump rode his luck to establish a 6-3 overnight lead over Hossein Vafaei at the end of the first session of their World Snooker Championship first round clash at the Crucible.

Third seed Trump looked sharp and focused against the dangerous Iranian qualifier, but Vafaei was left to rue a series of missed opportunities ahead of their resumption on Sunday afternoon.

The 29-year-old Vafaei could easily have headed into the mid-session interval with a 4-0 lead over the 2019 champion, but instead it was Trump who kept his nerve to carve a 3-1 advantage that he seldom looked likely to relinquish.

Cazoo World Snooker Championship 2024 – Day One – The Crucible
Judd Trump took control in his Crucible clash with Hossein Vafaei (Richard Sellers/PA)

Vafaei, who lost a second-round grudge match to Ronnie O’Sullivan last year with a session to spare, got in first in each of the first two frames but failed to capitalise on his chances and Trump delivered breaks of 63 and 66 to seize the initiative.

Even a 60-point lead in third frame was not enough for Vafaei, who was punished for running out of position as Trump dispatched a 72 clearance to extend his advantage.

Vafaei finally got a frame on the board in the next but normal service resumed on the other side of the interval as a missed black cost him the opportunity to reduce the deficit to within one frame.

Cazoo World Snooker Championship 2024 – Day One – The Crucible
Hossein Vafaei failed to take his chances against Judd Trump (Richard Sellers/PA)

The Iranian responded with a cool 138 but Trump took the next two before a 74 from Vafaei in the final frame of the session at least left him with a flicker of hope.

Stephen Maguire produced two centuries but could not shake off ninth seed Ali Carter, who takes a 5-4 lead into their conclusion on Sunday.

The Scot, a two-time semi-finalist, made a storming start with breaks of 93 and 114 but showed his frustration as untimely errors scattered the rest of the session, before a nervy 55 in the ninth frame enabled him to keep in touch with the two-time former finalist.

Zhang Anda, the 11th seed, trails 5-2 after the opening session against qualifier Jak Jones, in a match that was hauled off two frames early due to slow play.

Zhang, three times a ranking finalist this year, looked ill at ease at the Crucible and Jones, who reached the last eight on his debut last year, needed only three half-centuries to finish in a commanding position.

Cazoo World Snooker Championship 2024 – Day One – The Crucible
Luca Brecel was in good form on his Crucible return (Richard Sellers/PA)

Defending champion Luca Brecel looked set to defy expectations after building a 6-3 lead over qualifier David Gilbert.

Two centuries and two further breaks over 70 helped put the 29-year-old in full control, with the Belgian requiring just four more frames in the evening session to become the first player through to the last 16.