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World Snooker Championship: Selby edges towards final, Murphy and Wilson all-square

World Snooker Championship: Selby edges towards final, Murphy and Wilson all-square thumbnail
Mark Selby won the World Championship in 2014, 2016 and 2017
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 17 April-3 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and Red Button, with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

Mark Selby moved to within a frame of his fifth World Championship final as he came from behind to lead Stuart Bingham 16-15 in a gruelling affair.

Trailing 13-11 overnight, the three-time champion made breaks of 125 and 132 to lead 16-14, before Bingham responded with an under-pressure 85.

Play was then halted for overrunning – the first time the final session of a world semi-final has been interrupted.

Shaun Murphy and Kyren Wilson are level at 12-12 in the other semi-final.

Once that has been played to its conclusion, then Selby and Bingham are scheduled to return to conclude their best-of-33 encounter.

Former world champion Ken Doherty, speaking on BBC Two, said: “It’s unfortunate they had to come off but that’s the rule.

“The guys coming in are getting ready to play their semi-final and it is not fair if they have to wait.

“I feel sorry for these guys [Mark Selby and Stuart Bingham] because they have been involved in such a pulsating match with so much at stake.”

Selby and Bingham edge towards a finish

Bingham, who won the title in 2015, is hoping to become only the fourth qualifier to win the tournament after Alex Higgins (1972), Terry Griffiths (1979) and Shaun Murphy (2005).

But he now has it all to do when play resumes after appearing to be stifled by Selby over the course of several protracted frames.

A superb long red kickstarted Selby’s revival as he made a break of 68 to get under way.

And he then drew level at 13-13 with a brilliant 125 after a prolonged frame, which saw a double re-rack for the second time in the match.

In front of a Crucible crowd of 444, the largest of the tournament so far, Bingham responded in superb fashion with a 100 break, which brought up the 101st century of the Championship – beating 2019’s marker to establish a new record.

However, Selby then won the next three frames, a run that included a 132 break, to go 16-14 ahead before Bingham held his nerve to extend the match.

Murphy on the march

Earlier on Saturday, Murphy had produced a stirring fightback to draw level with Wilson, who faltered after leading 10-6 overnight.

World number six Wilson is looking to reach the final for the second consecutive year and looked in a strong position when he took the day’s opening frame.

But Murphy’s quest to reach a fourth Crucible final on Sunday then gathered momentum.

After collecting two scrappy frames, he made a 79 to get back to 11-8 and further reduced his arrears by pinching the final frame before the mid-session interval after capitalising on a Wilson in-off.

With emotions running high, a superb long black drew a fist-pump celebration and shout of “come on” from the 2005 champion.

His march seemed to have been brought to a halt when Wilson made an 86 after the resumption.

However, it proved a temporary disruption with Murphy making a superb break of 120 to close the gap to 12-10, before taking full advantage of two Wilson errors to draw level.

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