Mark Selby and Zhou Yuelong will join Judd Trump and Zhao Xintong in Group 1 on Finals Day of BetVictor Championship League Snooker after topping their respective Stage Two groups at Stadium MK on Tuesday, live at Matchroom.Live.
Having already beaten both Rory McLeod and Jamie O’Neill 3-0 in Group D, Selby knew a point would be enough against Graeme Dott. The Scottish potter had also defeated O’Neill 3-0, but drew 2-2 with Rory McLeod, meaning he’d have to beat Selby to progress.
Dott opened the deciding match with an 84, but Selby levelled with a 128, his fourth century of the day. The Leicester man then took the second frame with a 69 to ensure at least a point, which meant he progressed despite Dott levelling the match at 2-2 in the last.
“I feel like I played well all day,” said Selby. “The first frame against Graeme for me was huge and he made a great break to put me on the back foot. The second frame became even bigger because if he had won it, I’d need to win the last two so to win one of the first two was key for me and I managed to make a good break myself in the second.
“I got a little bit fortunate in the third and managed to win the frame after a fluke; sometimes it goes for you, sometimes it goes against you.
“This format, every group is tough. Playing four frames you can lose to anyone, and on Friday everyone will be a great player.”
Zhou was in equally good break-building form in Group B, beating Matthew Selt 3-0 before making three centuries in defeating Dominic Dale by the same scoreline.
ShauN Murphy had suffered a 3-1 reversal against Dale in the group opener, but a 3-1 win over Selt meant the group was taken to its final match. Murphy, however, would have to beat Zhou 3-0 to prevent the Chinese play from topping the group. The Magician made a 102 in the opening frame, but Zhou hit back with a 114 to ensure it was he who would top the group, before the match eventually ended 2-2.
BetVictor Championship League Snooker Winners’ Week continues on Wednesday with Groups E and F. Group E features Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Xiao Guodong, Jordan Brown and Ken Doherty. Group F will be Kyren Wilson, David Gilbert, Scott Donaldson and Mark King.
Coverage of both tables will be available at Matchroom.Live, with UK television coverage on Freesports. Live scoring can be found at www.wst.tv. Group fixtures, results, standings and details of how to watch can be found at http://www.championshipleaguesnooker.co.uk/.