Stuart Bingham believes his match-winning 70 in the deciding frame of his 10-9 win over Ding Junhui in the World Championship first round will be remembered as one of the best in Crucible history.
The 2015 world champion watched Ding break down on 45 after missing a cutback on a red before producing a gutsy and unlikely break against the odds to secure a last-16 meeting with fellow qualifier Jamie Jones on Sunday.
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Bingham produced breaks of 131, 129, 104, 92, 84, 60 and 53 as he recovered from 7-5 behind to lead 9-8 only for the former UK holder to force the decider with a 54. Ding also compiled 105, 88, 87, 86, 79 and 52 in a taut encounter that he had led 5-4 after the first session.
The players were forced to return later in the evening to complete their epic duel after running out of time locked at 9-9 in the afternoon.
‘You’re joking?’ – Bingham dismayed as match paused with one frame left
“I’m over the moon to get through that game, it was a classic match. I was gutted to get pulled off at 9-9, but it probably did us both a favour to chill out for a few hours," said Bingham.
"The first eight or nine minutes of that deciding frame had some unbelievable safety. We weren’t giving each other a chance.
Luckily for me, he missed after he got in and I produced one of my best 70 breaks and one of the best at the Crucible Theatre.
The 2020 Masters champion is expecting a tough battle with Jones after the Welshman's 10-4 victory over Stephen Maguire in the first round.
Ding ends session with wild fluke on black against Bingham
“It’s going to be tough against Jamie Jones. It’s his first season back on and he is probably playing the best snooker of his life," said Bingham.
"After what he went through and coming through Q School straight away, at the end of the year he is in the last 16 of the World Championship. He is going to be one hell of a tough player.
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