John Higgins is out of the World Snooker Championship ©Getty Images

Four-time world champion John Higgins is out of the World Snooker Championship after Norway's Kurt Maflin won three frames in a row to beat him and become the first player assured of a place in the quarter-finals.

Scotland's Higgins was 11-10 up in the second-round encounter, but Maflin - who had to qualify to reach the main draw - fought back to win 13-11.

It is perhaps the biggest win of Maflin's career, given he had not got past the first round of the World Championship before and has never won a ranking tournament.

By contrast, it ensures Higgins will go a decade without a world title as he last lifted the trophy in 2011.

The Scot was runner-up in each of the last three editions of the World Snooker Championship.

This was the first time Higgins had made a maximum break at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and he is the seventh player to achieve the feat at this event.

Should nobody else record a maximum break during the tournament, Higgins will at least pocket £55,000 ($72,000/€61,000).

Maflin will face the winner of the match between Anthony McGill and Jamie Clarke next, meaning a qualifier is guaranteed to be among the semi-finalists.

Scotland's McGill and Wales' Clarke have not yet begun their encounter.

Judd Trump, the defending champion and top seed, trails Yan Bingtao of China 3-5 in his second-round match.

Trump's fellow Englishman Mark Selby, a three-time winner of the event, has fought back from 3-5 down to be level with Thailand's Noppon Saengkham at 8-8.

Breaks of 76, 55 and 120 got Selby back level at 6-6, and there has been little between the pair since.

The other second-round match to have started, between Welsh 2018 champion Mark Williams and England's 2013 winner Stuart Bingham, is also level at 8-8.