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Selby takes advantage snooker

Mark SELBY capitalised on a stroke of cruel luck for Mark Williams to reach the Dafabet Masters quarter-finals at Alexandra Palace.

World No 1 Selby stayed on course to add the Masters to the World Championship and UK Championship trophies already in his possession, edging out Williams 6-5.

It seemed Williams was on course to cause a major upset when he began to build a break in the deciding 11th frame, only for a kick on the blue to send the ball fractionally off its course.

The bad contact, not the fault of Williams, halted the frustrated Welshman in his tracks, and Selby produced an 89 break to take frame and match. Selby now faces Barry Hawkins, who thrashed Shaun Murphy 6-1 last night.


KEVIN O'BRIEN hit three sixes and Boyd Rankin grabbed three decisive early wickets as Ireland eased past the United Arab Emirates by 24 runs in Dubai yesterday to claim a place in the semi-finals of the inaugural T20 Desert Challenge.

A blizzard of hitting from O'Brien and Gary Wilson turned the match in the space of three big-scoring overs as Ireland overcame a patchy start to post a more than competitive total of 160-6.

After winning the toss, Ireland began warily in what was effectively a knockout match and despite a lively 39 from 30 balls from opener Paul Stirling the Boys in Green could only muster 70-3 after 11 overs.

O'Brien and Wilson then, cleared the boundary five times between them as Ireland piled on 50 runs in next four overs for the loss of O'Brien who made 40 from 27 balls. Wilson's 26 included two fours in addition to his two maximums.

Irish Independent