Shaun Murphy takes slender lead over Mark Selby in World Championship final

Murphy had continued where he left off in his semi-final against Kyren Wilson by winning the opening two frames of the final.
Shaun Murphy takes slender lead over Mark Selby in World Championship final

By Mark Staniforth, PA

Mark Selby was left to rue a missed red as Shaun Murphy established a slender advantage at the end of the first session of the World Snooker Championship final at the Crucible.

Selby was left a fine chance to level matters ahead of Sunday evening’s resumption but left the ball dangling over the pocket and Murphy gratefully swept up to carve out a 5-3 lead.

Earlier, it was Murphy, bidding for his first world crown since 2005, who looked set to regret an error when he missed what was effectively frame-ball for a 3-0 lead.

Betfred World Snooker Championships 2021 – Day 16 – The Crucible
Shaun Murphy is bidding for his first world title since 2005 (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Murphy had continued where he left off in his semi-final against Kyren Wilson by winning the opening two frames of the final, and a break of 65 left him on the verge of extending his advantage.

But a missed red proved the only opportunity Selby required to clear to brown and take the frame, and a break of 89 in the next enabled the three-time champion to haul himself level.

If the switch in momentum seemed ominous, Murphy swiftly recovered his poise with a break of 75 to re-take the lead and ought to have re-established his two-frame advantage only for a missed black to enable Selby to make it 3-3.

Murphy won the next with a break of 64 despite an extended bid by Selby to fight back from requiring three snookers, but it was Selby who was left with lots to think about after his uncharacteristic error handed Murphy back the initiative.

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