03 May 2024

Stuart Bingham and Jak Jones level at 8-8 in World Championship semi-final

03 May 2024

Stuart Bingham clinched the final frame of a tense and cagey session to level his World Snooker Championship semi-final against Jak Jones at 8-8.

Bingham finally came through the 16th frame to leave a war of attrition all-square, while there was nothing to separate Kyren Wilson and David Gilbert in their last-four clash, which will resume on Friday night also at 8-8.

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.

David Gilbert and Kyren Wilson, the only seed in the last four, could not be separated after resuming on Friday morning at 4-4 and remained locked at 8-8 after another thrilling see-saw session.

Wilson, a beaten finalist at the Crucible in 2020, took the opening frame 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.

A missed yellow cost Gilbert in the next after an intense safety battle, but a superb score of 129 – his second century of the match and his eighth of the tournament – drew him level at 6-6.

Wilson edged ahead with a run of 54 and after another classy break of 92 from Gilbert – a beaten semi-finalist at the tournament in 2019 – made it 7-7, the former nosed in front at 8-7 with a score of 79.

But Wilson’s hopes of wrapping up the morning session with a two-frame lead were dashed by another century from Gilbert, who drew level again with a superb 106.

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