WILSON AND BINGHAM SET FOR GRANDSTAND FINISH
Kyren Wilson and Stuart Bingham are all-square at 8-8 heading into the final session of their second round tie at the Betfred World Championship.
Wilson battled back to take the final three frames of the session and draw level. They will return tomorrow afternoon at 1pm for the climax of this enthralling best of 25 encounter. The winner will face either Judd Trump or Anthony McGill in the quarter-finals.
Kettering’s Wilson has produced relentless consistency levels in recent times to secure his position at world number five, but hasn’t captured ranking silverware since the 2020 Championship League. He has a superb Crucible record, having made at least the quarter-finals each year since 2016, including a run to the 2020 final where he lost to Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Bingham made the semi-finals 12 months ago, when he clinched thrilling deciding frame wins against Ding Junhui and Anthony McGill, before bowing out 17-15 against Mark Selby. The 2015 World Champion is aiming to avenge a 6-5 defeat to Wilson in their most recent meeting at the Masters in January.
Bingham came into this evening’s second session with a 5-3 advantage. He extended his cushion after the first four frames, making breaks of 78 and 104 on his way to an 8-5 lead. He then had an opportunity to pull further clear, but broke down on 44. Wilson stepped up and showed his steel to make 66 and pull within two.
A break of 59 helped 30-year-old Wilson to secure the 15th frame, before a dramatic last of the evening. The Crucible crowd were almost treated to a maximum break, but Wilson missed the 13th red to end his break on 96. Nevertheless he will be delighted to end level at 8-8.
On the other table, John Higgins dominated the evening session of his last 16 clash with Noppon Saengkham, to move two from victory at 11-5.
The pair were locked together at 4-4 following this morning’s opening session, when Thailand’s Saengkham rallied from 4-1 behind to restore parity. However, 46-year-old Higgins ruthlessly pressed home his advantage this evening.
The Scot is bidding for a first World Championship title in 11 years. He claimed his fourth Crucible crown back in 2011, when he beat Judd Trump 18-15 in the final. Higgins has 31 ranking titles to his name, but is yet to add to that tally this season, having lost four finals.
Saengkham celebrated the birth of his new daughter, named Believe, shortly before his 10-5 first round victory over Luca Brecel. He is aiming for a first ever quarter-final appearance at the Crucible, but he will now require a colossal comeback to achieve that.
Higgins crafted breaks of 125, 60, 69 and 100 on his way to taking the first seven frames of the evening. Saengkham ironically celebrated after potting a frame ball brown in the last, to end six behind at 11-5. They return tomorrow afternoon at 1pm for their final session.