John Higgins made the first maximum break at the Crucible since 2012 but couldn’t avoid a shock 13-11 defeat to Kurt Maflin (16/1 Outright) in the Betfred World Snooker Championship.

The 45-year-old was always fighting to get back into the second round tie against Maflin, having trailed 7-4 and 10-8, but he eventually looked on track to progress after taking an 11-10 lead.

Higgins, who has been runner-up in each of the last three years, shot a fantastic maximum break of 147 in the 12th frame, however, there was little to celebrate at the conclusion of the tie as Maflin reeled off three frames on the bounce to win 13-11.

Maflin enjoyed runs of 80, 75 and 63 to seal the biggest triumph of his career and will face either Anthony McGill or Jamie Clarke in the quarter-finals – guaranteeing a qualifier in the semi-finals.

Mark Selby has a battle on his hands on Friday as he returns to the table to face Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham (Match Betting – Mark Selby 4/11, Noppon Saengkham 11/5).

The three-time champion trailed 5-3 on Thursday but breaks of 76, 55 and 120 helped to level the tie at 8-8.

Selby and Saengkham will conclude their tie on Friday at 14:30.

Mark Williams and Stuart Bingham look to be well matched and their second round tie has provided plenty of excitement (Match Betting – Mark Williams EVS, Stuart Bingham 4/5).

After the pair exchanged some early blows, Williams started to pull clear and subsequently opened up a 6-3 lead, before Bingham hit back and they ended the day level at 8-8.

Defending champion Judd Trump has work to do on Friday when he resumes his tie with Yan Bingtao, trailing 5-3 (Match Betting – Judd Trump 1/2, Yan Bingtao 13/8).

Trump led 2-1 but Bingtao came on strong, winning four successive frames, as he looks to secure a first ever win over Mr Haircut 100.

Ronnie O’Sullivan (2/1 fav 2020 Betfred World Snooker Championship) meets Ding Junhui at 19:00 as he seeks revenge for his loss to the world number 11 at the UK Championship in December.

Whenever you bet on Snooker, Betfred.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •