Kyren Wilson has maintained a two frame advantage over Stuart Bingham to lead 9-7 going into an intriguing last session this evening.
The Warrior is competing as a seed at the Crucible for the first time, having broken into the world’s top 16 this season. He’s up against stern opposition in the 2015 World Champion Bingham, who ended a 21-month silverware drought at the recent Welsh Open.
The pattern of this morning’s play saw the players trading frames, with neither winning more than one in a row. That suited Wilson, who managed to keep the world number three at arm’s length.
With Wilson 8-7 in front there was a dramatic last frame of the session. The Warrior required a snooker on the final red after Bingham made the first significant contribution of 56. He got the snooker and cleared to the black with 37 to pip the frame. Wilson punched the air after what could prove to be a significant steal.
Ding Junhui put on a dominant performance as he built a commanding 7-2 cushion against compatriot Liang Wenbo.
Last year’s finalist charged out of the blocks this morning with a century run of 111 in the opening frame. He compiled another big break of 113 in the fourth frame to lead 3-1 at the interval.
After they returned the 12-time ranking winner showed no signs of dropping his scoring power. Further runs of 53, 62 and 70 ensured he would carry a big lead going into this evening’s second session.