John Higgins scored only the 11th 147 break at the Crucible to keep alive his hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship.
The world No 5, who trailed Norway’s Kurt Maflin 5-3 overnight, made a strong start to Thursday’s morning session of his best-of-25 frame, second-round match and reduced the deficit to one. Maflin, the world No 43, responded with the next frame before he moved three ahead after a break of 97.
Four-times world champion Higgins hit back in the final frame of the session with a sparkling maximum, the first achieved at the Sheffield venue since Stephen Hendry in 2012, in the Scot’s final Crucible appearance.
It is the 10th 147 break the Scot has made in his career, but his first at the world championship. He becomes the seventh player to achieve the feat in Sheffield, joining Hendry (1995, 2008, 2012) and Ronnie O’Sullivan (1997, 2003, 2008), who are the only players to manage multiple maximums at the Crucible, as well as Cliff Thorburn (1983), Jimmy White (1992), Mark Williams (2005) and Ali Carter (2008).