Chinese potter opens up lead over Selby

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SHEFFIELD-based Chinese cueman Ding Junhui helped himself to a welcome 5-3 lead over Mark Selby, the 2007 Crucible finalist, after the opening session of their quarter-final clash.

Ding, who lives and practices in Sheffield, led 5-2 and could have opened up a healthy four-frame cushion.

But Leicester’s Selby pounced to pinch the final frame of the session to stay within touching distance in their best-of-25 frame contest.

Selby won the opening frame with a break of 124, before Ding reeled off four frames on the spin thanks to breaks of 58, 53, 63 and 65.

Runs of 51 and 87 helped Selby, the world No 3, to stop the rot, but Ding pulled further clear courtesy of a 77 break.

Selby, though, dug deep and won the last frame before today’s conclusion with a break of 74.

Today’s Play

MORNING (10am): Mark Selby (Eng) v Ding Junhui (Chi) - maximum of eight frames; Mark Allen (NIre) v Mark Williams (Wal) - to a finish, maximum of nine frames.

AFTERNOON (2.30pm): Judd Trump (Eng) v Graeme Dott (Sco) - to a finish, maximum of nine frames; John Higgins (Sco) v Ronnie O’Sullivan (Eng).

EVENING (7pm): Mark Selby (Eng) v Ding Junhui (Chi) - to a finish, maximum of nine frames; John Higgins (Sco) v Ronnie O’Sullivan (Eng) - to a finish, maximum of nine frames.