03 May 2024

Kyren Wilson takes commanding lead to close on Crucible final place

03 May 2024

Kyren Wilson needs three more frames to reach a second World Snooker Championship final after opening up a 14-10 lead over David Gilbert.

The pair were tied at 8-8 after the morning session but Wilson, the only seed left, won six of the eight frames in the evening to take a commanding lead.

It would have been virtually game over had Gilbert not won the final frame with a break of 101, but he goes into Saturday’s final session as a big underdog, with the winner to face either Stuart Bingham or Jak Jones, who are locked together at 8-8.

Wilson, a beaten finalist at the Crucible in 2020, took the opening frame of a seesaw morning session after a brilliant plant on a red helped him on his way to a break of 70 before Gilbert levelled it up at 5-5 by edging a scrappy 10th frame.

Gilbert drew level again with a superb 129, and came from behind twice more to make it 7-7 and then 8-8 thanks to another century break.

The pattern initially continued when the match resumed in the evening, with Wilson knocking in a break of 85 to take the lead once more before Gilbert responded.

But from there Wilson took control, reeling off five frames in a row as costly misses from Gilbert hurt his chances.

Wilson was making errors, too, but Gilbert was not able to make him pay through a series of scrappy frames, with the balls just not falling right for the frustrated 42-year-old.

Earlier, Bingham clinched the final frame of a tense and cagey session to level his semi-final against Jones.

Jones, who battled back from a nervy start and 3-0 down to finish Thursday night’s session level at 4-4, saw Bingham take Friday’s opening two frames.

Bingham opened up a 6-4 advantage with scores of 70 and 107 – the first century of the match – with the latter break punishing a risky missed plant on a red by Jones.

The Welsh qualifier was struggling to take his limited chances, but pulled it back to 6-5 with the help of a fluked pink before both players missed pots in the 12th frame.

Jones missed a pink with the reds nicely spread, but Bingham failed to punish him by missing a black while at full stretch and the world number 44 drew level at 6-6.

Bingham then fell behind for the first time in the match, losing a safety exchange before a score of 68 from Jones was enough to edge him 7-6 ahead.

Both players agreed to a re-rack in the 14th frame after another scrappy safety battle, but neither could find fluency and 30 cagey minutes later Bingham made it 7-7.

Jones edged ahead with a break of 69, but in the final frame of the session he gave away 49 points in fouls as Bingham levelled it up once again.

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