World champion Selby into final after downing Ding

England's Mark Selby plays a shot during the World Championship Snooker semi-final match against China's Ding Junhui at The Crucible in Sheffield, England on April 28, 2017

Mark Selby was just one match away from winning his third World Championship title in four years after seeing off China's Ding Junhui 17-15 in the semi-finals at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre on Saturday.

The Englishman beat Ding in last year's final and the pair were all square at 12-12 heading into the concluding session of their last-four clash.

But Selby, justifying his reputation as one of the toughest competitors in the game, pulled clear with breaks of 74 and 96.

Selby went 16-15 in front but Ding rallied before a missed blue gave the title-holder a chance to make a match-clinching break of 72 and leave Asia still searching for its first snooker world champion.