Ronnie O'Sullivan did not quite have both hands on the Betfair World Championship trophy but the most astonishing of his five Crucible triumphs looked almost certain as he moved three frames away from victory this afternoon.

O'Sullivan set a new record for a World Championship final when he took his total of centuries in the match to six, which helped him to a 15-10 lead heading into this evening, with opponent Barry Hawkins left with everything to do.

Hawkins had played superbly at times, but keeping pace with the defending champion was proving to be beyond him.