Welh Open 2012 (Day 5) - Selby and Ding complete semi-finals line-up

01:32:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Selby to meet O'Sullivan in the semis
Mark Selby and Ding Junhui are the last two players to reach this year's Welsh Open tournament's semi-finals after the Leicester man beat Stephen Maguire 5-3, while Ding Junhui won a very controversial-end decider against Stephen Lee by 5-4.

He wasn't at his best when he played against Sam Baird or Martin Gould, but he managed to rise up his game against Stephen Maguire and end the Scottish player's run by 5-3.

Mark Selby opened the match with a break of 62 to which Maguire replayed with runs of 81 and 45 to put his nose in front. However, a few minutes later, as the interval was kicking off, the lads were all squared at 2-2 after Selby hit a 110 break.

At returning into the arena, Maguire won a scrappy affair to regain his leading position, but Selby fought back with a half-century break to level the match, this time at 3-3. From this moment on the pattern of Maguire taking the lead was no longer used.

Ding completes the semi-finals line-up
A break of 71 was putting Selby just one step away from victory, while runs of 24 and a 38 were securing him a place in the semi-finals. The scoreboard was freezing at 5-3 in favour of the Englishman who's now meeting an old time rival, Ronnie O'Sullivan.

The last quarter-finals match saw the likes of Ding Junhui and Stephen Lee crossing their cues, with the Big Bear taking an 2-0 lead with runs of 44 and 42.

Still, the interval was seeing the boys all tight up at 2-2, Ding's 66 and 85 levelling the situation. It was going to be a close match.

After the break Lee regained his leading position, while Ding fired in runs of 48 and 40 to change the situation and become in command of the game, 4-3.

A series of 42 and 41 gave Lee a very-much-needed decider, but unfortunately for him it will prove to go wrong in the end. He only managed to collect 20 consecutive points off the table, while Ding made a 24 and a 20 from two visits, but faith seemed to favour the "Bulldog" of snooker when he pot an incredible long red.

A gutted Stephen Lee
However, when he got to the last green, a phone alarm went off and Lee missed the pot. It might have been the distraction, it might have been his own fault, but that person from the audience showed no respect whatsoever for the game.

In the end, Ding won frame and match with a 5-4 victory, a victory that the brave little Chinese player would definitely have wanted to cash in a different way.

After the match Lee said for World Snooker: "The phone went off just as I was on my back-swing and I couldn't stop," raged Lee. "That's the first time it has happened to me at such an important moment in all the years I've been playing. I am fuming. We both had plenty of chances in the last frame but we both played awful."

While Ding added: "It was unacceptable. He was very unlucky and otherwise he could have won the match."  

Below you can find tomorrow's semi-finals match schedule:

Shaun Murphy v. Ding Junhui

Mark Selby v. Ronnie O'Sullivan

TV coverage:
13:00 - 16:00 BBC Wales
13:00 - 16:00 British EuroSport
19:00 - 22:00 BBC Wales
19:00 - 22:00 British EuroSport
23:20 - 00:20 BBC Wales