Ali Carter will go into the final session of his Betfred World Championship clash with Alan McManus with a 9-7 advantage.
The pair shared the eight frames of the second session 4-4 to leave the last-16 tussle well poised ahead of Saturday morning’s conclusion.
Carter was runner-up at the Crucible in 2008 and 2012 while veteran McManus reached the semi-finals twice in his 1990s hey-day.
It was a scrappy opening to today’s session as the first four frames were shared, with neither player making a break of 40, leaving the score at 7-5. McManus stepped up a gear after the interval with a break of 77 to win frame 13. He then looked set to make it 7-7 but missed the final pink in the 14th frame along the top cushion, and after a safety exchange Carter potted a long pink to go 8-6 up.
A run of 71 from McManus narrowed the gap, and he had chances in the last frame of the session, but Carter took it 64-31 to secure his lead.
Meanwhile, world number one Mark Selby looks to be in for a tough battle against qualifier Sam Baird as they shared the first session of their match 4-4. Selby led four times, but was hauled back to level by Baird on each occasion. Selby knocked in breaks of 50, 81 and 62 while Baird impressed with runs of 53, 58, 100 and 85.