Mark Selby withstood a fightback from Mark Allen to secure a 9-6 lead heading into the final session of their second-round clash at the World Championship.
Selby led 6-2 from the opening session, but he was unable to exert the same authority on the contest on Sunday afternoon.
It was a session where drama outweighed quality, with Allen chipping away at Selby’s lead to leave the clash finely poised ahead of the conclusion of the match on Monday.
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Allen snapped a run of over 75 minutes without potting a ball and it set him up to take the ninth frame of the match.
Selby, who spoke positively about his form following his win over Kurt Maflin in the first round, roared back to take the 10th at a single visit.
The three-time champion put the frame on the line by taking on a long red into the bottom-left pocket, knowing he would leave Allen in should he miss. The red went into the middle of the pocket and it set him on his way to his 80th Crucible century.
Selby had a chance to restore a five-frame lead, but surprisingly left a red in the jaws with his break on 54 and Allen countered with a brilliant 72 to seal the 11th.
The 12th was a 45-minute rollercoaster, with both players fashioning chances. It went Selby’s way after Allen missed the yellow and left it on for his opponent, but the man from Northern Ireland crafted a 78 in the frame after the interval to cut the gap to three.
The 14th was another scrappy affair, with Allen again emerging on top to move within two.
Due to the slow nature of play, the session was concluded one frame early. The 15th went Selby's way to secure him a three-frame cushion heading into Monday.
Yan Bingtao and Shaun Murphy split their session, meaning the latter holds a 10-6 lead over the Masters champion heading into Monday.
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