Mark Selby and Marco Fu will go into the concluding session of their Betfred World Championship semi-final level at 12-12.
The eight frames of an intriguing third session at the Crucible were shared 4-4 which means that when they return to the arena at 7pm tonight, both players will need five more frames to book a place in the final.
The session also featured the longest frame ever at the Crucible, lasting 76 minutes and 11 seconds.
World number one Selby is aiming to reach his third world final and first since 2014 when he beat Ronnie O’Sullivan. Hong Kong’s Fu is aiming to become the first Asian player to reach the final – along with Ding Junhui who leads Alan McManus 14-10 in the other semi.
Leicester’s Selby won a scrappy opening frame today then made a break of 125 to lead 10-8. In frame 19 he had a chance to clear from the last red but failed to gain position on the final blue. He later attempted to double to blue to a centre pocket but missed, and left it over a top corner, giving Fu the chance to pot blue, pink and black. World number 14 Fu won the next with a run of 108 to level at 10-10.
Fu could have won the 21st frame but twice missed simple pots on the final green, allowing Selby to regain the lead. Back came Fu with breaks of 71 and 77 to go 12-11 ahead.
The last frame of the session set a new record for the longest at the Crucible, beating the previous record of 75 minutes set by Stephen Maguire and Mark King in 2009. It came down to safety battle on the green, and Fu was the first to crack as he left his opponent a pot to a top corner, and Selby took green, brown and blue to level the contest.