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Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
21 April-7 May 2007




606: DEBATE

Shaun Murphy (Eng) 16-17 Mark Selby (Eng)

77-0 75-31 (70) 19-94 (55) 90-1 (84) 101-0 (101) 62-18 (55) 22-85 46-66 1-75 1-67 (60) 70-5 (55) 12-79 0-128 (128) 87-43 28-90 65-20 56-111 0-112 (111) 96-0 (51) 41-66 76-5 (76) 81-52 (62) 0-129 (129) 53-18 101 (101) 0-136 (104) 72-6 26-97 (71) 132-1 (132) 82-59 0-99 (68) 22-70 0-91 (64)

LATEST ACTION (ALL TIMES BST)

By Sam Lyon

Frame 33: Selby does it! What a comeback from the Leicester man. A break of 65 does it for him, and three frames on the spin send the Jester into the final. Here's how it happened...

The players shake hands, the Crucible crowd launch into cheers of encouragement - and referee Michaela Tabb orders the supporters to hush "because it's kind of important". The mistress of the understatement and no mistake...

Selby pots first - a splendid long red to the left corner - but he is unfortunate when he snookers himself on a colour. But he finds a decent weight to hit the yellow and stay safe in baulk, and another Murphy error let's him back in. Nothing is ever easy in a decider, let alone the semi-final decider, but this is a chance...

And so it proves! Some superb pots, running in and out of baulk, and a tremendous black to the right middle gives him a break of 65. Murphy comes back for one shot, needing three snookers, but it never looked likely and Selby returns to knock in 21 more and book his place in the final against Higgins.

The pair - good friends off the table - embrace, before Selby milks the applause. What a win, great stuff. I'll see you guys at 1500 Sunday for the final - what a prospect that is!

"Unbelievable quality. How do you pick a winner from these two? It's a shame that someone has to lose but what a prospect we have in this final frame."
BBC Sport's Dennis Taylor

Frame 32: We'll be going into a decider folks! Selby has been absolutely brilliant these past two frames.

A couple of splendid positional shots help Murphy to a lead of 16 points, before the white rolls onto the side cushion off a green. He pots the red but it's end of break and, once again, Selby gets the better of the safety exchange. Murphy leaves him a red over the right corner and the Leicester man picks it off, before a sublime deep screw with side off a yellow into the corner brings him right in line with a bunch of reds.

It's nervy, it's tense, it's gripping...and Selby is caught out concentrating on position rather than the pot and misses a black to let Murphy back in at 16-34. However, the former champion runs out of position off a blue having added just eight points and the pressure tells on his safety effort to let Selby back in. Selby responds, building a 38-point lead but then misses a red off the rest to keep Murphy alive...

But it doesn't cost him - Murphy gets a double kick on a safety to leave Selby a thin cut to middle and he puts it away, knocking in 20 points to take it to a decider.
Murphy 16-16 Selby

Frame 31: You can't fault Selby's resolve one little bit here, and even a prodigious kick can't stop him moving back to within a frame of Murphy. Selby - also known as Marvellous Mark Selby apparently - truly lives up to his 'other' nickname with a fantastic long red straight after the break to spark a gritty 68 break. The kick ends it, though, as a simple red is pushed wide of the pocket - but he forces another error from Murphy from the resulting safety exchange and runs in another 31 points to wrap up the frame and keep the dream alive.
Murphy 16-15 Selby

"Selby was wonderful in frame 30!"
OnlyJuve on 606

"I don't think this is done and dusted just yet."
BBC Sport's Dennis Taylor

Frame 30: Well well well, Murphy snatches the frame from the jaws of defeat, having looked odds-on to win it comfortably early on, and Selby is staring down the barrell.

Murphy is first among the balls again and, for a time, it looks like he will seal the frame in one visit. The Magician knocks up a fine break of 46 and looks on course to move to within a frame of the final, but runs out of position with an attempted cannon and is forced to play safe to baulk. At that point, the tally between the players reads 1536 to Murphy, 1535 to Selby, as if further proof of the close nature of this tie was needed.

Still, a run of 25 takes Murphy 71 points ahead, leaving Selby needing a snooker to tie the frame, but a miss allows the Leicester Jester back in. A 32 break ends a run of 203 unanswered points for Selby, and a fabulous snooker behind the pink forces a six-point error from Murphy to keep the frame well and truly alive.

A safety exchange follows and it is Selby that forces the error. The Leicester man does brilliantly to take advantage and clear up to blue, only to roll out of position. He opts to take the blue on to the top right corner but his effort rattles the jaws and stays out, allowing Murphy to pinch the frame after all and prompting a fist punch and "come on!" from the Magician. That miss could well cost Selby his Championship - how cruel this game can be.
Murphy 16-14 Selby

"Murphy's turning it on when it matters."
BBC Sport's Saj Chowdhury

"This is a fabulous standard of snooker."
BBC Sport's Clive Everton

Frame 29: Once again, Murphy edges into the lead with a quite magnificent clearance. Selby gets the first point on the board but his attempted black stays out and Murphy takes full advantage. He kicks off with a fine plant into the right centre and an excellent shot off the black minutes later splits the pack nicely. He does not look back, knocking in a break of 132, and he is now just two frames away from victory.
Murphy 15-14 Selby

Haha - Hazel Irvine doing her best to humour Chris de Burgh during the interval, scoffing at the singer's suggestion that some people think Lady in Red is "just a corny old love song" - come on Hazel, you can take polite journalism too far...

"I really didn't see the point of Murphy playing on there - he needed so many snookers it looked nigh on impossible to come back and so it proved. But I've been very impressed with Mark Selby, what a talent he is."
BBC Sport's Dennis Taylor

Frame 28: According to Murphy's 'On the Spot' interview on BBC Two, if he could change one thing about the world it would be "to change people's need for retaliation" (I know, I know). Well the 2005 champion will definitely not be happy with Mark Selby at the moment - the Jester refuses to let him get away.

He's aided in the first place by an outrageous fluke on a long red, which goes up and down the table, ricochets off two balls and goes into the opposite corner from its intended target. It doesn't result in a break, but a Murphy mistake next up does as Selby knocks in 71 to leave Murphy needing five snookers. It doesn't stop him playing on, though - he's clearly keen to stretch this match into the early hours of the morning the little rascal (and as BBC Sport's John Virgo points out - "He aint paying for the lights") - he gets two of them, but Selby then knocks in the final red to settle matters. We're all square again going into the mid-session interval.
Murphy 14-14 Selby

"Colonel Sir Neville Chamberlain, of the Devonshire regiment was playing this new game when his opponent failed to pot a ball and Chamberlain called him a "snooker"."
smartrextboy on 606 in response to king_ronnie (below)

Frame 27: Two poor safetys from Selby let Murphy in - the first goes unpunished but the second brings the Magician a break of 30, a run that is only ended when a fine attempt to split the pack leaves nothing on. However, Selby errs on another safety and Murphy takes up the invitation, knocking in 41 to clinch the frame and go back in front.
Murphy 14-13 Selby

"Can I suggest we have a little quiz as we watch the entertainment? I will start if you like - a nice easy one - where did the term snooker come from?"
king_ronnie on 606

"Both players are looking relaxed and at the top of their form - and it is shaping up to be a real contest."
BBC Sport's Dennis Taylor

Frame 26: Selby's first in this time, knocking in a fine long red and developing the pack to give himself a frame-clinching chance. A red into the left centre cannons the green and leaves him short, though, and he's forced to tuck behind said green. Murphy's escape falls short but Selby can't take advantage and, with a red over the top right corner, the pair engage in a little shove-halfpenny on it with the white in the jaws of the pocket.

A quick glance at the crowd during the delicate exchange suggests we're at capacity - apart from one old boy who has a clutch of empty seats around him. Early rumours that it is due to the lunchtime sprouts are unfounded.

Selby finally breaks the monotony with a clever red in-off the black into the corner, and he ties up the frame with a break of 104 - his 10th century of the Championship - in and around the black to level once more. A superb opening to the session.
Murphy 13-13 Selby

Frame 25: What an opening from Shaun Murphy - let's hope it's a case of starting as they mean to go on. A safety attempt back to baulk looks safe enough from Mark Selby, but Murphy spots a loose red and cannons it into the back of the corner pocket. Murphy's fourth century of the Championships - a 101 - ensues with some tremendous positional play and it is just the start the Rotherham player would have wanted.

By the by - referee Michaela Tabb has gone hair up tonight. Lovely stuff.
Murphy 13-12 Selby

Right, so enraptured was I with the Higgins-Maguire marathon that I've barely had time to scoff down my pie and chips. Therefore, the first part of this evening's commentary between Murphy and Selby will be brought to you through a haze of loose crumbs and spilt gravy (gravy with chips - so the way forward).

These boys have got some way to go to match the quality of the earlier semi-final, but I don't doubt that this encounter will be high on intensity and bravery at the very least. Eyes down people, here we go...

THIRD SESSION

By Ben Dirs

Frame 24: Selby has first go, but he rattles the jaws with a difficult red. Murphy then misses a sitter into the top right, although he was bridging over the brown. Selby then gets the jitters, missing the black off its spot after making just 14. Murphy applies tons of top-spin, potting the red and enabling the cue ball to scatter the cluster like a shark cutting through a school a fish. He doesn't, however, find position.

"Is it really necessary to follow players out to the toilet? Surely they deserve a little privacy when they need to spend a penny?"
Lynne on 606

Murphy has all the touch of the Singing Detective today, and once again he fails to get the white ball behind baulk. Murphy snookers Selby behind the green and The Murph makes a good pot into the right centre to get on his way. It's another scrappy one, as Murphy breaks down again.

Selby pots another plant - this one looked a bit suspect to me, not sure he meant it - before laying the snooker behind the green. Brilliant escape, however, coming off one cushion, grazing a red and bringing the ball back up to the top cushion. Murphy makes a good pot into the left centre, but his positional shot on the pink is ropey and he rattles the jaws with the subsequent red.

Can The Jester make hay? Nope, he loses position immediately after his first red. Apparently both players have got a beef with the cushions on this table - too springy, I'm told. Fine pot from Murphy into the bottom right and he's got the chance to level.

That's frame ball, a difficult red into the bottom right, and "what an evening we've got in store", says John Virgo on the box. Selby chooses to battle on, but it is reminiscent of the Black Knight in Monty Python's Holy Grail - "The Black Knight always triumphs!" - fighting on with his arms and legs lopped off. And he does finally concede - we're level going into the final session. This match bigger than jungle - and as we all know, jungle is massive.
Murphy 12-12 Selby

Frame 23: Peche de la peche from Selby, picking out a magnificent plant from the cluster to open his account. Another fine positional red into the right centre, pulling the cue ball back on a string and in behind the black. Selby cannons into the reds on 34 but the cluster doesn't fall his way. That said, The Jester digs out another plant that few others saw and he's on his way again. That's Selby's eighth ton of the championship...and it's a total clearance of 129. "In your face Big Murph", I thought I saw Selby mouth as he skipped out of the theatre...
Murphy 11-12 Selby

Frame 22: More ragged safety from Murphy and Selby is in with a long red into the bottom right. Selby moves the break onto 18 with a peachy little pot on the black, straight down the bottom cushion. Someone tells me Murphy's nickname is "The Magician". What with magicians and jesters, it's like King Arthur's court in The Crucible Theatre. I suppose that makes Michaela Guinevere.

Selby breaks down on 40 and Murphy finds some luck, the cue ball nestling behind the green, and Selby fouls to let The Murph back in. Murphy makes a fluent 62 before laying a decent snooker, and Selby can only set Murphy up with his escape. Murphy clears to the green and his opponent needs snookers. Selby decides to pot green, brown and blue before searching fruitlessly for a snooker. All square, Selby looking fragile.
Murphy 11-11 Selby

Frame 21: That's not clever from Selby, missing the jaws completely with a straight red. Murphy loses position off the black - this isn't getting much better folks. Good recovery though, and Murphy has a chance. Crackerjack fine cut with the rest from Murphy - I think he must have had a chat with the Big Man during the break. Much more purpose from The Murph, a fluent 76 break leaving Selby needing snookers. And The Jester throws in the towel.
Murphy 10-11 Selby

Players are back out - I'd wager there was a lot of water being splashed on faces during the mid-session interval.

Frame 20: Murphy is all over the shop at the moment - he hits a red so thin to miss the pot that he catches it again on the way back. Selby whips out the rest and rams home a long red and follows up with a pink into the right centre. The rest of the reds, however, will take some tackling. Selby looks pretty well set before missing a regulation cut into the bottom right - just the 31 for The Jester.

On Selby's nickname, is he called The Jester from Leicester simply because Jester rhymes with Leicester? The only other word I can think of that rhymes with Leicester is 'molester', and I'm guessing that was discounted fairly early. Another solid rest shot and Selby is back in - but he misses frame red and Murphy has a lifeline. Murphy, however, looks like he's playing in oven gloves at the moment and runs out of position again.

Another shocking safety from Murphy, but Selby is missing the killer instinct this morning and misses a long red. Murphy then has the colours at his mercy - but fails to execute a nudged brown into the right centre - this is like extracting teeth. With a masonry drill. Selby is unable to clear up and Murphy gets far too fine a contact on the blue. The Jester, however, is unable to cut the blue in. Come on lads, stop mucking about! Selby does slot the pink and there's daylight at the mid-session interval.
Murphy 9-11 Selby

"Of course, players can't play at their best all the time, but the important thing is - how good's your worst? Is it good enough to stay in the game?"
Clive Everton on BBC

Frame 19: Selby misses a relatively straightforward red and Murphy's in the balls for the first time today. Murphy runs up a 51 break before running out of position - but rattles in a beauty of a long red before gorging on a huge slice of outrageous fortune, missing a regulation brown into the right centre only for it to rebound off the opposite cushion and drop in the intended pocket. "Has anyone got any glasses," quips The Murph - what a lovely sense of humour. Fortunately for Murphy, Selbs is playing like someone on the pool table in the Summer Bay diner and pots the white. This is Murphy's frame, and he makes sure with a run of 36.
Murphy 9-10 Selby

Frame 18: More poor safety from Murphy before we se a bit of fluency from The Jester, a pearler of a shot, cannoning into the pack off a red, setting up a break of 111. Murphy, hunched in the corner like a medieval blacksmith's boy, can only watch as Selby opens up some daylight - he's going to have to sort out his safety game, it's a bit of a shambles at the moment.
Murphy 8-10 Selby

A bit of Michaela Tabb banter is picked up on the mics - "I had two brain cells, I now have one", she quips to the cameraman. Lovely stuff. Michaela wearing specs in this tournament, of course, and I think they look absolutely smashing.

Frame 17: Both players jingle-jangling like Jimmy Savile in the first frame of the day. Selby is into the balls first, but he breaks down on 13. Selby's barnet, I've decided, is inspired by Wayne the Cockney from Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

Murphy passes on a long red and a couple of scratchy safeties give Selby a chance to clinch the frame. However, Selby misses a red into the bottom right and Murphy is back in it with a run of 21. Murphy gets a huge slice of luck when he almost cannons the black in and the white ends up nestled behind the green. Selby then gives up five fouls, but no-one wants to win this one - Murphy plays a shocking positional shot, snookering himself behind the little pink fella, before giving up 12 penalty points.

Murphy fails to escape another snooker and extras are looking like top scorer in this one. A missed long blue means Murphy is back in, but he contrives to pot the white into the right centre. Did these boys have Stella on their Cornflakes this morning?

Another failed escape from Murphy and Selby is in...no he's not, he runs out of position, but does manage to show a bit of class by laying a smart snooker behind brown and pink. Murphy makes contact with the red, but the white goes in off, and Selby has a free ball.

That's a wrap, ladies and gents...oh, my giddy aunt, Selby errs again...but he's back in and this time makes sure. A 53 minute frame - if every one goes like that, this match will be over after the final.
Murphy 8-9 Selby

Hello everyone. Day 15 at The Crucible and we are in for a couple of humdingers. First up, it's Murphy v Selby - Murphy the 2005 World Champion, Selby bidding to become only the third qualifier to reach the final. Selby did well on Friday to banish his first session nerves and Murphy might have his work cut out fending off the 'Jester from Leicester' if he really hits his straps today.

SECOND SESSION

By Phil Harlow

Frame 16: Mark Selby is left with few options early in the frame and opts for a hit-and-hope strategy which doesn't really come off. Murphy makes a 15, and then gets another chance straight after playing safe as Selby misjudges his shot.

Murphy then breaks down on 49 to give Selby the sniff of a chance, but he makes runs of 13 and then seven. A missed red to the middle lets Murphy knock in a red and Selby is eager to offer his hand and get out of the arena, He looks, quite understandably, all snookered out for the time being.
Murphy 8-8 Selby

Frame 15: It takes six minutes of play for the first red to drop, after which Mark Selby makes a fluent 51, but his shot off the green to go into a pack of six reds misses the target altogether and eventually lets in Shaun Murphy. The former champion makes 11 before another bout of safety play ends with a fluked red by Murphy.

It proves an important stroke of luck as Murphy rolls up behind the green. Selby takes five attempts to hit the red and gives Murphy an easy starter. Murphy somehow misses the red and Selby makes a 39 to wrap things up.
Murphy 7-8 Selby

Frame 14: One of the longest frames in the match, and it's not pretty stuff in the main. Shaun Murphy eventually comes out the better of it after Mark Selby finally knocks it on the head. For a while it looks as if the qualifier is going to play on needing about five snookers.

Selby got the first chance, but he broke down to allow Murphy in. The former champion was also unable to clinch it at one visit, but some time later he emerges as the winner of the frame.
Murphy 7-7 Selby

Before all that, you may have missed a quite remarkable "Frame with Davis" featuring the inimitable Chris de Burgh.

The Irishman may have made millions from "The Lady In Red" - but he can't pot a red to save his life. Stick to the day job, Chris. Actually, on second thoughts...

Anyway, he's likely to be too busy, what with his new role as a UN ambassador to sub-Sahara Africa. Seriously.

Frame 13: Mark Selby is firing on all cylinders now, no question. A brilliant red from the black cushion into the middle pocket from an almost impossible angle gets him started and he doesn't look back. 128 points later, there are no balls left on the table and Selby is one frame up again.
Murphy 6-7 Selby

Never mind the snooker - the real glamour is to be had in the little feature in-between the action. Dennis Taylor interviews Strictly Come Dancing's Darren and Lilia. They live in Sheffield, in case you were wondering what the connection is.

Frame 12: Selby looks to be going great guns until a lapse in concentration stops him in his tracks. Murphy begins to compile his response and is cruising along nicely with a red into the middle which even I would quite fancy knocking in. But Murphy gets a truly horrible kick and is made to look a little bit silly as the close-range pot goes well wide.

The frame degenerates into a scrappy affair - in-offs, unsuccessful escapes, flukes, colours going safe, missed long pots... it's all happening. Eventually, Selby gets in and makes a little 14 break to take the frame and go into the mid-session interval.

Frame 11: A re-rack after about 10 minutes of play - nobody likes to see that, especially the person doing the live coverage. Would it work in other sports though? 20 minutes in to a decidedly dull 0-0 draw at the footy that's clearly going nowhere. Let's blow up and start again...

A fluked red by Murphy gets him going, but he goes on to make a break of 55 to edge ahead again. According to Clive Everton, the least common frame score is three.

"You've got me fascinated there," deadpans his co-commentator Dennis Taylor.

"That is statistically true - I know this," insists Everton.

Frame 10: Right, I've managed to commandeer someone else's computer while they're in a meeting. In-between sending amusing e-mails to senior managers from their account, I'll be keeping you up to date with the semi-finals from here on in.

An excellent cut red from Murphy into the middle pocket starts him off, but he then lets Selby in when he misjudges his shot into the pack. A lengthy safety battle ensues, but Selby gets the first chance in amongst the balls and continues his revival with a 63 break to draw level.

Referee Michaela Tabb is wearing a fetching pair of glasses in place of her usual contact lenses. I interviewed Michaela once - a very nice lady.

Frame nine: It's Selby into his stride first, but he breaks down after making 49, missing a long red into the bottom left. I can't help thinking his nickname, 'The Jester from Leicester', must be a terrible burden for the young lad. Surely people must permanently be asking him, just as they did poor old Les Dawson, to make them laugh. The only man in sport with a more burdensome nickname is Dutch arrows star Roland Sholten - 'The Tripod'. Selby is given a second chance and grabs it with both hands and he's back within one frame of The Murph. Right, Phil Harlow is logged on, I'm off for a gasper.

Right, looks like I'm doing this game as well - my colleague Phil Harlow was supposed to be taking over but he tells me he "can't log onto a computer". Come on Philip, you can do better than that. Anyway, the boys are under way - can Selby shake off those first-session nerves? Or will he be rolled over by the steely Murphy? Let's have a look...

FIRST SESSION

By Sam Lyon

Frame Eight: The final frame of the match lives up to the billing of its predecessors with yet more scrappy snooker to the fore. A break of 54 puts Selby in pole position, but he loses the white attempting to screw back for the black, and Murphy gets an opportunity to force his way back into the frame after fluking a red into the middle. He cannot take it, though, and, not the first time, errors, missed pots and poor safety appear to be the order of the day. However, Murphy fails to make the most of his chances and Selby snatches the frame with blue and pink to somehow emerge from the session at 5-3 to ensure he is right back in the match ahead of Friday's 1430 BST restart.

"That was probably the worst frame of snooker of the match to be honest, but it was vital, even at this stage, for Mark to pull one back. If he can escape from this session at 5-3 with the way he has played, he will be absolutely delighted."
BBC Sport's Terry Griffiths

Frame Seven: Selby gets his hand on the table for the first time proper since the third frame and knocks up a break of 42, before frustratingly running out of position off a black with too much left-hand side. Murphy, though, misses an extremely tough red when a safety shot looked simple, and Selby returns to add 16 before missing a red at frame ball. However, yet another miss, this time from Murphy, lets Selby in for a third time to seal the frame and reduce the deficit. Top-quality snooker, this is not.

Frame Six: It's a bit like Chinese water torture out there at the moment - every time Selby looks to settle and get amongst the balls, he misses a simple shot, or errs on a safety. The 23-year-old's form of the earlier rounds is notable by its absence and, though Murphy fails to take advantage of the first couple of mistakes, the third is all the invitation he needs. A break of 55 helps him stretch his lead and, while neither player is at the top of their game yet, Selby's errors are costing him dear.

"I know Mark Selby as we play in the same snooker club in Leicester. I have no doubt that he will beat Murphy and reach the final. He is very resilient and plays best when under pressure."
theshade711 on 606

"Selby still looks a little tired after the late match against Carter. I thought he was never going to score a point after Murphy's early blast.
BBC Sport's Saj Chowdhury

Frame Five: A comment from the crowd greets the players as they emerge from the break and it has both in stitches. Unfortunately, not only did I miss it, therefore leaving me feeling a touch left out, Selby fails to shake off the giggles and hits a red too thickly attempting to go back to baulk to gift Murphy an opportunity. It's just the chance 'The Magician' would have wanted, and he racks up a break of 101 - including a trick shot 'masse' on a red to the right centre - to stretch his lead to three frames.

"While it's the break, I'll tell you about the karaoke night put on by the tournament organisers. My version of Spandau Ballet's Only When You Leave went down like a lead balloon..."
Read more from BBC Sport's Saj Chowdhury on 606

"I'd like to Selby get to the final but Murphy does seem on good form. For the title? Now Ronnie's out it's gotta be Higgins for me."
CharmingPurpleFish on 606

"Shaun will be thinking the same thing as everyone else - can Mark Selby really deal with the atmosphere of The Crucible in a semi-final? With that in mind, the sooner he can stamp his authority on this match, the better, and he's made a decent start."
BBC Sport's John Parrott

Frame Four: Mark Selby may be known as the Jester of Leicester, but few of his fans are laughing as he misses the simplest of browns to the left centre with the balls well placed. Murphy takes full advantage, wasting little time in racking up a break of 84 to head to the mid-session interval in front. Selby will have to settle soon, you feel, or he could be staring a big deficit in the face by the end of this evening's play.

"Mark probably would have been happy with getting through the first round before the tournament but, having reached the semis and securing a top-16 place, all that will be on his mind will be winning this thing."
BBC Sport's Steve Davis

Frame Three: Selby, hair immaculately coiffered on his World Championship semi-final debut, finally finds his stride on the safety side and forces the first mistake from Murphy. It's only the first of a series of errors from both players, though. Murphy gets in the balls and then loses the white after a successful plant on a couple of reds, before missing a simple red a few shots later. Selby, in turn, misses a simple safety, flukes a red into the middle and then rattles the jaws of the pocket and out with a pink, before finally settling into his rhythm with a break of 55 and ending with a splendid snooker behind the black. It proves enough to help get him on the board and he breathes a visible sigh of relief at The Crucible.

"Perfect start for Murphy. Might be speaking too soon but I think that he will win easily."
pquinn1989 on 606

Frame Two: Another poor safety attempt at the start of the frame from Selby gifts Murphy a break-building chance. Five reds and five blacks prompt him to give a 147 an early effort, but an enforced blue sees him draw in the reins until a missed red to the right corner lets Selby back in. The 23-year-old, having spent most of the match so far chewing nervously on his lip, allows himself a smile as he crashes in a long red but a run of 31 comes to an end with two reds awkwardly placed on the cushion. An attempt to bring those reds into play next shot fails and a terrific snooker behind the brown from Murphy seals him the frame.

"Murphy seems to be hitting form at the right time."
Jules_USA on 606

"Mark came into this match on the back of a marathon nine-hour quarter-final against Carter and that can take it's toll on players. It will be interesting to see how his mental toughness holds out."
BBC Sport's John Parrott

Frame One: The players, good friends away from the table, shake hands and share a joke before Selby breaks off. It is not long before the serious business of snooker gets underway, though, and Murphy is first amongst the balls, striking two long reds into the corner pocket on his way to 39 before an attempt to split the pack goes awry to let Selby back in. A bit of fortune goes Murphy's way on a missed red, though, and a poor Selby safety allows the 2005 champion back in to knock in 38 more and seal the opener.


Pre-match: Shaun Murphy, winner here in 2005, is the odds-on favourite against qualifier Selby, and the pair have a lot to live up to after a high-quality eight frames between John Higgins and Stephen Maguire earlier in the day.

Murphy created history in the quarter-final when he fought back from an 11-5 deficit to win his best-of-25 match against Matthew Stevens for the first time at the Crucible.

However, Selby has sparred a lot with Murphy in their local clubs and victories over Stephen Lee, Peter Ebdon and Ali Carter suggest he is not just here to make up the numbers.

BBC Sport's Saj Chowdhury says "Murphy's experience will tell against Selby and he will progress."

Let us know your thoughts on the 606 website.

SEE ALSO
Selby pips Murphy to reach final
05 May 07 |  Snooker
Higgins v Maguire: Framewatch
03 May 07 |  Snooker
Selby finally shakes off Carter
02 May 07 |  Snooker
Murphy fightback shocks Stevens
02 May 07 |  Snooker


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