Ding stuns Selby to keep Crucible dream alive

Mark Selby leads 9-7 against Ding Junhui

Mark Selby leads 9-7 against Ding Junhui

Ronnie O'Sullivan was knocked out of the Betfred World Championship by Ding Junhui, losing 13-10 in their quarter-final, but the five-time victor caused more controversy when recording a break of 146 in the 20th frame, playing for the pink rather than black after potting the 13th of 15 reds.

Ding went into the second session with a 10-6 lead over the Rocket, and many were expecting a strong come back from Ronnie, and that's what he produced, winning the first two frames to reduce the gap to 10-8, before Ding produced a fantastic 96 break to stop Ronnie in his tracks.

John Higgins completed a breezy 13-6 victory over Kyren Wilson to reach the last four for the first time since winning the last of his four world titles in 2011.

The duo play to a finish on Wednesday afternoon, with 13 frames needed to advance to the semi-finals.

The pair were on fire in the first four frames, sharing them with a mixture of superb break-building and tight safety.

Fu was full of admiration for the 33-year-old reigning world champion, who is firmly in the hunt for the £375,000 top prize.

At the start of Tuesday's evening session, the duo shared the opening two frames, before Ding won five in a row, to take a crucial 10-5 lead. "I don't want to say much except I'm a good friend of Ding's so I wish him all the best". Barry Hearn, World Snooker chairman had him criticized for this.

A 65 break from O'Sullivan sealed the sixth to level the match but Ding stopped the rot by scraping the next via a re-spotted black despite a 69 break from the five-time world champion, who finished off with a run of 59 to restore parity. Yet I think their approach is win right now.

China's Ding made centuries in the final two frames of the third session, having responded to breaks of 128 and 64 by defending champion Selby. He always had the game but I don't think he had the belief.

"Marco's a great guy and a great player", Selby said.

"He's definitely got the belief now".

Higgins believes he will be facing one of the greats if he and Mark Selby are the players going head to head for silverware glory on Sunday and Monday. "So you need to be able to scrap it out and I've shown in the past I can do that". Every year I'm here trying to win the title.

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