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Jak Jones stuns Stuart Bingham to reach World Snooker Championship final

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Jak Jones salutes the crowd (Photo credit: Mike Egerton/Alamy Stock)

Jak Jones continued his fairy-tale run into a first World Snooker Championship final courtesy of a 17-12 victory over Stuart Bingham at The Crucible.

In only his second appearance in the sport’s showpiece event, Jones continued his giant-killing exploits by knocking out the 2015 World Champion to set up a date with destiny in Sheffield.

The pair could not be separated after two sessions, sharing the first 16 frames, but a run of five consecutive frames from Jones on Saturday morning proved pivotal as he pressed home the advantage.

The 30-year-old lead 13-10 heading into the final session, and though it was Bingham who took the evening’s opener, Jones dominated with four of the next five frames to seal another famous win.

He will now face 2020 runner-up Kyren Wilson in the final, which gets under way on Sunday afternoon.

“When I think of watching the world final every year thinking it’s a dream and what an unbelievable occasion it is, it doesn’t feel real that I’m in that final,” Jones told BBC Sport.

“I couldn’t be any happier.

“It’s not been easy to say the least, the tour isn’t easy, there’s a lot of good players.

“I haven’t made a quarter-final all season so I didn’t come here with any confidence or sharpness.

“I don’t think I am playing well, I’m just winning.

“I’m not doing anything exceptional, I’m not scoring heavily, I’m making 60s and 70s but not doing anything special.

“I was gone after the first three frames, my hands were soaking wet, I was absolutely gone.

“I didn’t feel nervous coming out here then I started missing a few. Obviously it’s new to me playing in the one table setup and it got a bit embarrassing, then I made that clearance out of nowhere and it did settle me down.”

Bingham had ended Jones’ run of five straight frames with a terrific break of 104 to end the third session and reduced the deficit to 13-11 after sealing the first frame of the evening, but a number of unforced errors in lengthy tactical frames handed Jones the initiative.

The Welshman made it 15-12 after a marathon mini-session lasting two and a half hours, before making a 70 break to move within one of victory.

He then sealed the deal with a 58 break to become the ninth qualifier to reach the final at The Crucible – the first since Ding Junhui in 2016.

Bingham struggled to replicate the free-flowing form which saw him account for Ronnie O’Sullivan in the quarter-finals, and the 47-year-old was heavily critical of his performance.

“Embarrassing really,” Bingham told BBC Sport. “I must have given eight frames away, missing blacks off the spot. You can’t do that at this level.

“Very disappointed after playing like I did against Ronnie. I just didn’t enjoy it out there.”

Jones is bidding to become only the third qualifier to win the world title, following in the footsteps of his Welsh compatriot Terry Griffiths in 1979 and Shaun Murphy in 2005.

A decade after ending the season without a win in 16 matches in all competitions, Jones is now guaranteed to end the season ranked in the world’s top 16 for the first time.