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Stuart Bingham hits out at Mark Selby over ‘slow play’ in World Championship Semi-Final

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Bingham watches on with Selby at the table (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images)

Stuart Bingham has accused Mark Selby of using tactics “close to gamesmanship” during their World Snooker Championship Semi-Final at The Crucible.

Selby overturned a 13-11 deficit to complete a hard-fought 17-15 victory over Bingham on Saturday for a place in his fifth World Championship final.

A marathon contest had to be settled in an unscheduled fifth session after multiple frames had required re-racks and gone over the hour mark.

In his post-match interview, Bingham pulled no punches on his opponent’s methodical approach and believes Selby’s ‘slow play’ ought to be questioned.

“Funnily enough, it’s the same player time in, time out,” Bingham told BBC Sport. “You’ve got to question that.

“Does he do it on purpose or what?

“There was one shot he took three minutes and then just rolled into the balls. It’s close to gamesmanship.

“Some other times, the ball went over the pocket and we weren’t giving each other an inch.

“It’s tough to lose a close game like that but fair play to Mark, he came out firing today and deserved to win.

“I’ve said all the way through the tournament I always seem to have one bad day and today was that.”

Selby was marginally the quicker of the two players in the average shot times with 28.6 seconds per shot to Bingham’s 28.9 seconds.

The Leicester ace, who will now vie for his fourth world title when he takes on Shaun Murphy in the final, insisted his slow play only amounted to a select few shots during the match.

“It was only one or two shots,” Selby told BBC Sport.

“I had a shot where I had brain freeze on a red yesterday afternoon, but if you look at the average shot time we’re both the same so he can’t really call me out for being too slow when he’s at the same shot time.

“He’s a fantastic player, he came here as a qualifier but he’s definitely top 16, if not top eight. He scores as well as anybody I’ve ever played against.

“Overall he probably played better than me but I felt as though I was just digging in and fighting against the run of the ball.

“Overall in the match he probably had a bit more run of the ball than me and towards the end it sort of turned back my way, fortunately.

“I was having flashbacks [to last year’s Semi-Final] and trust me I didn’t want another decider.

“The last year has been tough but all the hard work has been paying off and it’s just relief more than anything to get over the line there.”

WATCH THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)