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Mark Selby powers past Pang Junxu to claim WST Classic crown

Jonathan Davies in WST Classic

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WST Chairman Steve Dawson hits back at Ronnie O’Sullivan in remarkable official statement

Selby captured his second ranking title of the season

Mark Selby claimed the inaugural WST Classic title after beating Pang Junxu 6-2 in the final in Leicester on Wednesday.

The Jester was victorious on home soil at the Morningside Arena, where he hit three centuries on the way to landing the top prize of £80,000.

Selby sealed his second ranking title of the season, having also prevailed at the English Open in December, and the 22nd of his glittering career.

Indeed, the world number two was too strong for maiden ranking finalist Pang, who just missed out on becoming the sixth different Chinese player to lift such silverware.

“It’s a fantastic feeling,” he told Matchroom Live. “We’re playing a few tournaments here now in Leicester, so it’s actually nice to play well. I normally put myself under pressure to perform.

“[Today is] probably the best I’ve played throughout the competition. I’ve been playing well in practise, it’s nice to actually take it out onto the match table.

“Hopefully, I can carry on this form going into the Tour Championship and the World Championship.”

Selby arrived in the final full of momentum having dropped just two frames in his victories over John Higgins (4-2) and Ali Carter (5-0) earlier in the day, during which he hit a century and six further breaks over 50.

And he picked up from where he left off, opening with 104 before doubling his lead with a stunning total clearance of 138.

A semi-finalist at the Welsh Open last month, world number 44 Pang come through deciders against Oliver Lines and Gary Wilson to reach his first ranking final.

The Chinese ace responded well with a break of 75 to halve the deficit and get his first frame on the board.

But Selby regained command with a brilliant 120, while he also won two lengthy frames to move one away from victory, which he secured with a run of 79.