The tie between defending champion Mark Selby & Ding Junhui is turning into a real Crucible classic as these two heavyweights of the sport go into tomorrows final session locked together at 12-12.
The two sessions these two played today really had everything snooker can offer from,big breaks to pressure pots to wonderful safety and all things in between.
Coming out this morning,Ding held an overnight 5-3 lead,but it was Selby,doing what Selby does best who bossed the early proceedings, taking a series of lengthy hard frames to edge ahead.This session was really reminiscent of the way Selby played to break O'Sullivans resistance in the final of 2014,so it was a tribute to Ding that he managed to get a couple of frames on the board with big breaks to at least show he was still in good stroke.Even allowing for this though, Selby finished the morning with a 9-7 lead
Into the night then and a vital eight frames for Ding.,who you felt, really needed to win the session to keep his hopes alive.Here though an extraordinary thing happened.Not only was Ding competing with Selby in the safety battles,but he was noticeably getting the better of them & for the first time in this championship Selby was showing the signs of feeling real pressure.
The question was could Ding turn this superiority into winning the session? This he duly did in style,taking the last two of the night with centuries to win the session 5-3 & set up the grandstand finish tomorrow afternoon.
The other semi final has been a little more sedate & with two sessions played it is the four times champion John Higgins who holds the upper hand,leading Barry Hawkins 10-6.
This one has lacked the fireworks we've seen in the other semi final,but Higgins wont be worrying about that if he manages tomorrow evening to reach yet another Crucible final.They resume for their third session at 10am with Hawkins needing to do something special if the result of this one is be thrown into question,