Selby, Bingham, Trump and Ding enters semi-final of International Championship
Judd Trump is through to the last four of the International Championship in Daqing after overcoming Shaun Murphy on the very final ball of their quarter-final clash.
The win sees Trump continue his remarkable run of form in 2016/17. It will be his third consecutive semi-final appearance.
After Trump claimed the opener, Murphy stole the second on the final black – foreshadowing the last ball drama which lay ahead.
The high quality affair then moved up a gear in terms of standard. Trump went 3-2 ahead with runs of 102 and 100. Murphy, nicknamed the Magician, and then claimed three in a row thanks to contributions of 77, 75 and 70. It put him one away from victory at 5-3. However, Trump wasn’t going to back down and continued to attack. He made breaks of 74 and 119 to force a final frame.
The decider was tighter than the rest of the match and exceeded 45 minutes in frame time. Neither player could produce a telling contribution and it came down to the colours. Murphy had Trump on the ropes after he laid a precarious snooker on the green. After missing once, Trump had to make a hit the second time to avoid needing snookers. He managed the hit and eventually created a great opportunity to win the match. When trying to get position on the black, the white caught the knuckles of the left middle and a safety battle ensued. Eventually Murphy missed a middle range shot to the top right corner and left the ball over the pocket to allow Trump the easiest of match balls.
Ding Junhui delighted the home crowd to secure a semi-final showdown with Trump. He did trail John Higgins 2-0, but won six frames in a row to blow away the defending champion. The Chinese superstar made breaks of 81, 56, 104, 130 and 63 to cruise to a 6-2 win.
Ding said: “I played great today. John started well but I fought back very hard. I was taking my chances and made a lot of breaks. It was a surprise as John Higgins has so much experience. I’m playing well.”
In the evening session Stuart Bingham survived a brave fightback from Michael Holt to book his place in the last four of the International Championship in Daqing.
The world number two also secured a spot at next month’s Champion of Champions event in Coventry by virtue of the one-year list.
Bingham looked set for a brisk evening’s work, as he charged into a 4-0 lead. The 2015 World Champion made breaks of 87, 49, 80 and 80 as he took a clean sweep of the frames in the first mini-session.
However, Holt put up a steady resistance, claiming the next four in a row to dramatically level the scores. Bingham was unwavering and hit straight back with a magnificent break of 131 to move one away from victory at 5-4. The Hitman took the match to a decider, but it was Bingham who got over the line to book a last four clash with Mark Selby. The pair met in an epic semi-final at the recent Shanghai Masters and it was Selby who prevailed.
The Jester from Leicester guaranteed his progress with a 6-3 defeat of Joe Perry.
After losing the opening frame, Selby turned up the heat on the world number 12 with back to back century runs of 132 and 127. He then won a further three frames in a row to coast into a 5-1 advantage. Perry did close the gap, but the deficit proved too much and Selby ran out a 6-3.