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Bingham Wins Classic Semi-Final
Stuart Bingham has overcome Shaun Murphy after an epic semi-final encounter at the China Championship in Guangzhou.
The pair’s previous two meetings were at the World Championship and World Grand Prix finals. On both occasions they produced a phenomenal standard of play and today was no different.
It was Murphy who got off to the perfect start with a run of 94 in the first frame. However, back-to-back century runs of 141 and 105 in the third and fourth frames helped Bingham to a 3-1 advantage. The Magician hit straight back with contributions of 87 and 83 to level at 3-3 and the pair traded the final two frames to end the session with the scores locked at 4-4.
When they returned the second session resumed in a similar fashion with the pair trading large breaks. However, Bingham made the first significant move, taking the 11th and 12th frames to go clear at 7-5. Murphy halved the deficit in the next with a tournament high run of 144.
The 2015 World Champion Bingham looked to have landed the decisive blow in the next frame as he moved one from victory at 8-6, courtesy of a break of 71. Murphy showed his resolve and claimed two frames to force a decider. However, after Murphy missed a green to the middle, it was Bingham who held his nerve to make a century contribution of 114 and win a remarkable match 9-8.
His opponent in tomorrow’s final will be four-time World Champion John Higgins. The Scot secured his passage with a comprehensive 9-3 defeat of Mark Allen.
The Wizard of Wishaw went 3-0 ahead thanks to runs of 54 and 131. Although Allen closed the gap to 3-1 thanks to a contribution of 95, that would be the last time he was within two frames of the Scot.
Higgins charged through the remainder of the clash making breaks of 123, 77 and 78 along the way to seal his chance to play for the £200,000 top prize tomorrow.
“I’m over the moon to have won,” said Higgins. “I’ve beaten the player of the tournament in Mark. He was scoring the best out of anyone. I knew I was going to have to play my best to have a chance of winning and I played pretty close to that. I’m delighted.”