Robert Milkins holds nerve to beat Joe Perry in final-frame decider

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Robert Milkins produced a memorable comeback to beat Joe Perry 10-9 in their delayed first-round clash at the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield.

Milkins’ match against Perry was interrupted earlier this week when a man wearing a ‘Just Stop Oil’ T-shirt jumped on to table one and tipped orange powder over the cloth.

The crowd from Monday night’s match were given free tickets by event organisers for Thursday’s unscheduled morning session at the Crucible, and they watched Milkins defy the odds to reach the last 16.

Robert Milkins’ match against Joe Perry was delayed after a ‘Just Stop Oil’ protester jumped on to table one on Monday night (Mike Egerton/PA)

However, Milkins, who won the Welsh Open in February, took the opening two frames of the session to move to within three frames of his opponent.

Perry responded by winning the next frame only for Milkins to hit back immediately by again moving to within three frames, and then reducing Perry’s lead to two after the former semi-finalist missed a simple brown.

An out-of-sorts Perry then fluffed his lines when potting a red to the middle pocket with a relentless Milkins making no mistake to move to one behind, and then drawing level to set up a three-frame shootout.

Milkins clinched the next frame to put him on the brink of glory before Perry scrambled to produce a clearance of 63 and take the match to a decider.

But it was Milkins who held his nerve to secure the final frame and seal a memorable fightback. He will face Shaun Murphy or Si Jiahui in the next round.

Mark Selby saw off a determined challenge from qualifier Matthew Selt as the four-time champion started his bid for a fifth crown with a hard-fought 10-8 victory.

Mark Selby, left, celebrates with a thumbs up to fans after beating Matthew Selt, right
Mark Selby celebrates with a thumbs up to fans after beating Matthew Selt, right (Nick Potts/PA)

But Selby, winner of this event in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2021, reeled off a 112 break to close out the win and set up a clash with Gary Wilson in the next round.

Elsewhere, three-time champion Mark Williams and qualifier Luca Brecel were all square at 4-4 after the first session of their second-round encounter.

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