World Snooker Championship LIVE: Latest scores as Mark Selby and Mark Allen resume semi-final and Si Jiahui leads Luca Brecel


Mark Allen called ‘so boring’ by Mark Selby

Mark Allen was called “so boring” by Mark Selby during a 45-minute frame as the World Championship semi-final turned into comedy amid a barrage of safetys.

“We have three more days of this,” Allen responded.

Si Jiahui: How bad-tempered child prodigy became snooker’s serene sensation

Over the past two weeks Si Jiahui has calmly dispatched his opponents one by one – first the 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy, then the 13th seed Robert Milkins, before knocking out Scotland’s Anthony McGill in the quarter-finals – like the world’s most serene assassin. The 20-year-old has produced an extraordinary Crucible debut to be within reach of the World Championship final, and perhaps the most remarkable part is that he has taken it all in his stride.

But Si wasn’t always this calm. When he was young, his father Si Peijun opened a snooker club in their hometown, Zhuji. The young Jiahui was obsessed, and by 10 years old he could beat just about anyone in the room, with the help of a rest to reach the middle of the table. Yet the game would often frustrate him.

“He trained from nine in the morning until 10 at night by his father,” recalls Roger Leighton, who coached Si as a teenager. “He was a nice, friendly kid, but he had a temper. His father was difficult and put extra pressure on him, like most Chinese fathers do.”

By Lawrence Ostlere

Si Jiahui: How bad-tempered child prodigy became snooker’s serene sensation

His father trained him for 13 hours a day. Now Si Jiahui is closing in on the final of the World Snooker Championship in a bid to be the sport’s youngest ever champion

Ronnie O’Sullivan on Mark Allen and Mark Selby ‘comedy show'

Ronnie O’Sullivan on Mark Allen and Mark Selby semi-final: “The crowd seemed to enjoy it. There will be some people at home that like watching snooker like this.

“Some people like watching the attacking game, some like the defensive – working it all out, looking at every shot.

“Maybe they should get their own comedy show together, they would be quite a good double act with the referee involved! They are good mates, good fun.

“Not everyone wants to see Luca Brecel or Si Jiahui play how they do. There are people out there who enjoy watching that.

“It’s like test match cricket. People like to sit there and see that ‘patience, patience, patience’.

“Other people like Twenty20. If you like Twenty20 you might watch tonight’s game and think it’s a bit boring and want to watch Selby and Allen.

“There is some skill involved in that. You’ve got to be able to suck it up and take it.”

World Snooker Championship: Today’s schedule

Semi-finals (best of 33)

10:00

Match 30: Mark Allen 6-7 Mark Selby

14:30

Match 29: Luca Brecel 10-14 Si Jiahui

19:00

Match 30: Mark Allen v Mark Selby

Luca Brecel hits back against Si Jiahui in Friday night thriller

Si Jiahui and Luca Brecel engaged in two thrilling sessions of their semi-final, with the Belgian reeling off the last five frames of the evening to trail his Chinese opponent 14-10 overnight.

Si turned a 5-3 overnight advantage into an 11-5 lead at the end of the morning session, with a 122 clearance and back-to-back breaks of 89 and 58 sending him sailing closer to the winning line.

There was even more to come from Si when they returned in the evening, as successive clearances of 90, 132 – his fourth century of the match – and 97 put a stunned Brecel on the brink of an early exit.

But the Belgian, who had reeled off seven frames in a row to sink Ronnie O’Sullivan in the last eight, rallied again as he capitalised on some increasingly risky shot choices from his opponent.

A 108 got him on the board before the mid-session interval, and more dominant visits, in which he punished Si’s errors of judgement, hauled him back to 14-9 ahead of a potentially pivotal final frame of the evening.

The drama continued as Brecel broke down on a break of 53, seemingly handing the frame to his opponent.

Si proceeded to pot a magnificent brown, only to leave a simple green in the jaws of the bottom pocket, giving a revitalised Brecel the chance to clear up, and the hope that he can still force his way into his first world final.


‘It was not pretty’: Mark Selby and Mark Allen semi-final in Sheffield criticised

Stephen Hendry criticised Mark Selby and Mark Allen for casting a “dark cloud” over the Crucible after the second session of their World Championship semi-final was halted three frames earlier than scheduled in Sheffield.

Selby battled back from a three-frame deficit to establish a 7-6 overnight advantage against his opponent after a gruelling session in which safety play prevailed and both players appeared reluctant to take on important pots.

Seven-time world champion Hendry, who was on punditry duty for the BBC, said: “A dark cloud came over the match table at the Crucible.

“It was not pretty. It’s not the snooker that I want to watch, but I understand that snooker has to be played in different ways. It’s almost like they’re trying to be too precise, too exact in their matchplay. Just play the ball sometimes.”

‘It was not pretty’: Mark Selby and Mark Allen hauled off as play casts ‘dark cloud’

Selby battled back from a three-frame deficit to establish a 7-6 overnight advantage over Allen while Luca Brecel and Si Jiahui thrilled in the other semi-final

World Snooker Championship

The World Snooker Championship resumes today with two contrasting semi-finals at the Crucible that have divided opinion.

Mark Selby battled back from a three-frame deficit against Mark Allen to establish a 7-6 overnight advantage, but Stephen Hendry criticised the pair for casting a “dark cloud” over the Crucible after the session was halted earlier than scheduled.

Hendry said Selby and Allen’s play was “not pretty” – but Ronnie O’Sullivan said the controversial second session was “good fun”. The seven-time champion argued: “Some people like watching the attacking game, some like the defensive. Maybe they should get their own comedy show together.”

In complete contrast, Si Jiahui and Luca Brecel engaged in two thrilling sessions of their semi-final, with the Belgian reeling off the last five frames of the evening to trail his Chinese opponent 14-10 overnight.

Follow all the action from the Crucible Theatre with our live blog throughout the day

Source: Read Full Article