UK Championship: Mark Selby battles past Martin O'Donnell to reach last 16

Mark Selby is sixth in the world snooker rankings

Two-time champion Mark Selby showed his trademark battling qualities to reach round four of the UK Championship with a 6-3 win over Martin O’Donnell.

Selby, 36, lost the opening frame as world number 38 O’Donnell scored the first of three breaks of more than 50.

But the Leicester man responded to win a painstaking mini-session session 3-1 and always remained at arm’s length as he closed out a watchful win.

“I got the job done and that’s about all I did do,” Selby told BBC Sport.

“It was a poor match from start to finish but I won.

“There aren’t many positives to take from it but I am into the next round and I can only improve.”

The 16-time ranking event winner only managed two half-centuries but his tactical superiority proved vital as he progressed into a last-16 encounter with 2003 UK champion Matthew Stevens.

World number 18 Gary Wilson continued his stunning form as he crushed fellow Englishman Joe Perry 6-1.

The 34-year-old became only the third player to score four successive centuries in a match when he came from 4-0 down to beat Chris Wakelin 6-4 in round two.

And Wilson, who reached the semi-finals of the World Championship this year, was equally imperious against world number 15 Perry.

Breaks of 74, 103, 75 and 101 saw him storm into a 4-1 lead and he had little trouble taking the final two frames to set up a meeting with Judd Trump’s conqueror Nigel Bond on Thursday.

Elsewhere. China’s Yan Bingtao comfortably beat an out-of-sorts world number 13 Jack Lisowski 6-3.

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The last-16 ties begin on Wednesday afternoon when three-time champion John Higgins takes on former world champion Stuart Bingham and world number seven Mark Allen faces world number 42 Kurt Maflin.

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