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Monday, 21 April 2014

World Championship Day Three

Day Three and the question was,after all yesterdays drama,what would today have in store,?Well the answer was every bit as much drama and more,as debutant Michael Wasley produced one of the biggest shocks in Crucible history to beat Ding Junhui.

To be honest this just didn't seem on the cards early on as,after a sluggish start yesterday afternoon,it looked like Ding had weathered the storm when he stretched into a 6-3 overnight lead.Any thoughts however that it was going to be straight forward afternoon for the Chinese were quickly put to bed by Wasley as he won the opening 3 frames to level things up at 6-6.Ding,who has a poor enough record at the Crucible was looking as ruffled as he has in a long time here he would have been relieved to win the next and lead at the interval 7-6.

After the interval Ding established a two frame lead at 8-6 and again looked to have got out of jail,but a lengthy 15th frame went to Wasley and the young Crucible debutant then leveled things up again at 8-8.So long had this session gone on that only one more frame could be played before they were pulled ashore for the start of the evening session and it went to Ding to put one from victory at 9-8.

Back they came then tonight for an unscheduled third session and Wasley produced a stunning 103 to level it up again and force the decider,In a frame similar to those we have seen so many times over the years at this great venue this decider was full of drama with both players having their chances before the decisive moment on the final red came with Wasley fluking it into the centre pocket.From here he cleared to the blue before having to endure some wonderfully laid snookers from Ding until his chance finally came and he slotted it in to seal a famous victory.

Dings poor record on the sports biggest stage continues then and its Michael Wasley who will play the winner between Mark Davis & Dominic Dale in round two, One thing for sure,after this he will fear noone.

Elsewhere,in what seems to be becoming the theme of the first round,Mark Selby survived a deciding frame shoot out with Michael White,the Leicsterman eventually coming through 10-9

Selby,who has had a poor season by his standard, would have been wary of his opponent coming here,so no doubt he was delighted with his start here as he lead 3-0 and 5-1.White though,who reached the quarter final here last season dug deep to end the morning session just the one behind at 5-4.

Into tonight and it was Selby again who started the quicker taking the first three frames  to open an 8-4 lead.White thoug, once again rallied and reeled off four frames of his own to level it up at 8-8.Selby regained his composure in the next to go 9-8,but White leveled again to ensure  we had a 19th and final frame.That frame was to go to Selby thanks in main to a timely break of 57 and the former world no.1 booked his place in the second round.

In the battle of the veteran Scots it is Alan  McManus who holds sway leading John Higgins 6-3 after their first session this afternoon.Indeed it could have been a lot worse for Higgins here as he trailed at one stage 6-1 before  a late rally kept his hopes alive,they play to a finish tomorrow morning.

If Higgins is looking for inspiration he need look no further than Joe Perry who set up a second round clash with Ronnie O'Sullivan after a spirited fightback from 6-3 overnight against Jamie Burnett Perry was quickly out of the blocks this morning,winning the opening two frames with breaks of 87 & 70 ,before a couple of scrappy ones also went his way to see him take the lead at 7-6.

That became 9-6 after the interval and although Burnett did pull one back with a 111,the end was not far away as Perry wrapped up the 10-7 win.

In the other match to begin today Ricky Walden holds a 6-3 lead over Kyren Wilson.They play to a finish tomorrow night.

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