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Snooker star Matthew Selt managed to win a frame after playing just one shot in his English Open last 128 victory over Alfie Burden, as his opponent broke an uncommon rule in the sport. The 38-year-old could possibly hold the record for the fastest win in snooker history, after Burden was forced to concede after only 100 seconds of play.
Selt was 1-0 up in the race to four at Brentwood Centre on Thursday, broke off and placed the cue back up the table near the cushion, green side. With Burden seeming reluctant to attempt a pot to the bottom pocket, he attempted to ease the white into the pack of reds via two cushions.
However, he came up short on three occasions, giving Selt not only a 12-0 lead in the frame but Burden was forced to concede as a result of a little-known rule. Though both players were immediately aware, while referee Rob Spencer was forced to award victory to Selt after 100 seconds.
Failing to hit a ball that is considered ‘on’ in three consecutive attempts results in the frame being conceded. The rule does not come into play when a player is snookered, but that was not the case with Burden as he had several possibilities of hitting a red aside from the shot he was attempting.
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Selt now has a claim for the fastest winning frame in snooker history, breezing past Malta star Tony Drago who held the record for fastest TV win. In the 1996 UK Championship against John Higgins, he lodged an astonishing time of three minutes of 31 seconds but unlike Selt, made a century break in the process.
His record of the fastest century has stood for 27 years and while Selt did not break that particular record, Ronnie O’Sullivan came close in the 2022 Scottish Open. In his 4-0 win over Bai Langning, his century was recorded at three minutes and 34 seconds, agonisingly close to Drago’s televised record.
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The method used to determine the time of a break is that the clock starts when a player first strikes the white ball and stops when the ball(s) finish moving after the final shot, with Selt’s victory over Burden coming in at around 100 seconds.
On the opposite side of the table, the longest frame recorded took a whopping two hours, three minutes and 41 seconds as Ireland’s Fergal O’Brien reached the World Snooker Championship in a historic final frame against David Gilbert in 2017.
Following his 100-second frame victory over Alfie Burden, Selt will now hope for further success at the English Open after reaching the last 64, though he is surely unlikely to win a quicker frame at the tournament.
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