Selby's maximum milestone


Selby's maximum milestone

Mark Selby made snooker's 100th maximum break as he took the upper hand early in his williamhill.com UK Championship semi-final against Ricky Walden.

Selby will pocket a rollover 147 jackpot of £55,000, in addition to the tournament high break prize of £4,000, as long as his perfect clearance in the seventh frame is not matched.

The Leicester cueman had to play a superb pot on the brown and roll an extremely difficult final black into the middle pocket to complete the break.

Selby moved 5-2 up in the best-of-17 semi-final with the landmark break, which required a series of brilliant shots on the colours.

The 15 reds and blacks were picked off with minimal fuss, and yellow and green followed.

With brown and blue close together, though, an excellent shot was required to pot the former and run round the table off three cushions for position on the latter.

Stretching for the pink, he went through his full range of cue extensions and grimaced to the crowd, and although he knocked the ball securely in he left the cue-ball tight on the top cushion.

After again playing to the galleries with a mock scream, he settled himself to drop a dead-weight black into the centre pocket.

Selby pumped his fist, clasped hands with Walden in celebration and received a handshake from referee Paul Collier as a packed house at York's Barbican Centre roared their approval.

Selby took the next frame as well, with the aid of a 53 break, to lead 6-2 at the end of the first session.

The maximum was the second of his career, following one at the Jiangsu Classic in 2009, while he missed a much simpler final black on 140 at last season's China Open.

It was the third made on this season's tour. Neil Robertson, at the Wuxi Classic qualifiers, and Judd Trump at the Antwerp Open also managed it.

Selby said: "Up until the green I had played pretty much the perfect break, but then there was some tension because the brown only went to one pocket and it was hard work from then on.

"It was a great moment, but I am still involved in a tough semi-final which isn't over.

"There is big prestige doing it on the BBC in such a big tournament. The money wasn't on my mind!"

The break was in contrast to much of what had gone before in a hard-fought opening session.

Selby's 69 break to take the opener and his opening 44 in the second were stylish but after a shock miss on the black, the rest of frame two was anything but.

It came down to a battle on the colours, with Selby surprisingly turning down a yellow and playing a bad safety.

Walden over-cut the brown but Selby missed the blue and then the black before mystifyingly leaving the latter, only for Walden to leave it in the jaws to fall 2-0 down.

Selby missed a red off the rest on 51 in frame three, allowing Walden to finally get on the board with a 56, but the Chester player missed a bad brown in the next and Selby led 3-1 at the interval.

He again missed when well set on 39 in the first frame back, and Walden hit back with 43 then cleared to the pink following a great safety and pot on the green.

But a bad missed pink let Selby in to make it 4-2, before his moment of history took him further clear.

Play resumes at 7pm and the winner will face world number one Robertson in Sunday's final.

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