Mark Selby and Stuart Bingham shared the frames in the first session of their Betfred World Championship semi-final, ending level at 4-4.
Selby, a three-time Crucible king, is competing in the one-table setup for a seventh time, while 2015 World Champion Bingham is contending just a second semi-final at the Theatre of Dreams.
It’s Selby who holds the edge in previous meetings between the pair. He narrowly leads the head-to-head record 11-10.
They had contrasting fortunes in their quarter-final encounters, with Selby storming to a 13-3 defeat of fellow three-time World Champion Mark Williams in the last eight. Bingham successfully negotiated a nerve-shredding showdown with Anthony McGill, winning a final frame decider to come through 13-12.
Bingham took the opening frame this afternoon after firing in a run of 60 to go 1-0 ahead. However, Selby immediately restored parity by clearing the colours to steal the second frame on the black. The Jester from Leicester added the third and fourth to establish a two-frame cushion and head into the mid-session 3-1 up.
When play resumed Bingham turned the tide. Breaks of 92 and 82 helped him to take three on the bounce and lead at 4-3. Selby then took a tightly contested eighth frame to close out the session all-square at 4-4.
They will return to play the second session of their best of 33 encounter tomorrow morning at 10am.