Stuart Bingham and Jack Lisowski each secured deciding frame wins at the World Snooker Championship on Tuesday, as Mark Allen thrashed Lyu Haotian.
Bingham, the 2015 World Champion who came into this year’s event as a qualifier, held his nerve to edge out ninth seed Ding Junhui in a nail-biting Crucible clash.
Ding led 5-4 going into the second session and moved further clear at 7-5 before Bingham hit back to lead 8-7 and 9-8 with breaks of 92 and 104 along the way.
Ding, however, took the 18th frame with a break of 54 to force a decider before the players were pulled off the table and forced to return later in the evening.
It was 2016 finalist Ding who had the first opportunity of the decider but failed to convert it, and Bingham stepped in to make a timely 70 break to seal his spot in the Last 16.
“I am over the moon and now well into the tournament,” said Bingham.
“I understand the decision to take us off but it was a nightmare. It’s not something you want to go through.
“But it’s great to be here and playing in front of fans and great to get the first match out of the way.”
Earlier in the day, Jack Lisowski avoided becoming another seeded casualty as he battled back to defeat Ali Carter 10-9.
Lisowski, who was beaten by Carter in the First Round two years, ago, led 5-4 going into the second session but found himself 8-6 and 9-8 behind.
However, a clinical break of 82 saw the number 14 seed send the tie to a decider, and after a series of poor shot selections from Carter, Lisowski did the damage with a break of 60 to set up a show-down with Neil Robertson.
“I stayed strong mentally and managed to turn it around,” said Lisowski.
“It doesn’t get any closer but I managed to win so many close frames. I cleared up at 8-6 and to have won from there is great.
“I’ve never won a tournament so why not make the World Championship the first one? It would be amazing.”
Mark Allen began his latest quest for a first World Championship triumph with a 10-2 demolition of Chinese qualifier Lyu Haotian.
Thirteenth seed Allen raced into a 7-2 lead at the halfway stage with breaks of 139, 102, 116 and 69 to his name.
Lyu had little response in the evening session as the Antrim ace reeled off three frames in a row to coast into the Second Round.
World number one Judd Trump also has one foot in the Last 16 after opening up a commanding 7-2 lead over Stoke’s Liam Highfield following their first session.
Trump set his stall out superbly with a break of 116 in the opening frame and led 3-0 before Highfield got off the mark in frame four.
Further breaks of 75 and 65 saw Trump extend his lead to 5-1 before Highfield made a 77 break in frame seven, but the 2019 World Champion continued the barrage with consecutive breaks of 86 and 73 to move three away from the winning line.
Barry Hawkins holds a 6-3 lead over Matthew Selt heading into their concluding session in Sheffield on Wednesday.
The 2013 world finalist eased into a 3-0 lead with breaks of 54 and 91 before Selt opened his account prior to the interval.
Hawkins took the next two frames, and after Selt had clawed it back to 5-2, ‘The Hawk’ compiled a sensational 137 clearance to restore a four-frame advantage.
The Kent cueist had opportunities to extend that lead in frame nine, but it was Selt who eventually sealed it to trail by three overnight.
World Snooker Championship 2021 Scores
Tuesday April 20
Jack Lisowski 10-9 Ali Carter (R)
Ding Junhui 9-10 Stuart Bingham (R)
Judd Trump 7-2 Liam Highfield (L)
Mark Allen 10-2 Lyu Haotian (R)
Barry Hawkins 6-3 Matthew Selt (L)