Bingham tearing up script for dream final
Stuart Bingham was tearing up the script as he stayed on course to topple crowd favourite Judd Trump in their semi-final at the Betfred World Championship.
If the talk off the table in Sheffield was of a 'dream ticket' final between master potter Trump and the 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy, first-time Crucible semi-finalist Bingham was working determinedly in the arena to give himself every chance of defying pre-match expectations.
He went from 5-3 ahead going into the second session to 9-7 in front of a misfiring Trump, and stood every chance of following up his quarter-final victory over Ronnie O'Sullivan with a second huge scalp.
Bristolian Trump has been widely backed to land his first world title this year. But he had been feverish after his previous win over Ding Junhui, going straight back to bed after wrapping up a 13-4 success.
He would not be happy with his afternoon display though, with the consolation being that Bingham did not take full advantage by extending his lead in the best-of-33-frame tussle.
There was a dash of Trump magic in the second frame of the session as he peppered a break of 113 with exhibition shots. That can hint at Trump being in the mood, but he was otherwise curiously flat. Morning and evening sessions today will settle the contest.
Shaun Murphy moved to the brink of a third final but must return to complete the job against Barry Hawkins this afternoon.
The 2005 title winner and 2009 runner-up will resume with a 16-8 lead, with Hawkins spared the indignity of losing their semi-final contest with a session to spare after taking the last frame of the night.