Mark Selby and Yan Bingtao emerged from a keenly contested opening session of their Coral Tour Championship clash locked together at 4-4 in Milton Keynes.
The pair met at the Champion of Champions earlier this season, where Selby emerged a 4-0 victor. This afternoon’s action was a far closer affair.
Riga Masters champion Yan, who was runner-up to Judd Trump at the Coral Players Championship in Southport, could still win the £100,000 Coral Cup bonus if he takes home the £150,000 top prize this week. The bonus is awarded to the player who accumulates the most prize money throughout the three-event series.
Yan got the better of a scrappy first four frames this afternoon, taking a 3-1 lead into the mid-session interval.
When the players returned, they ramped up the standard. Three-time World Champion Selby fired in breaks of 99, 119 and 61 to lead 4-3. However, Yan ensured parity heading into tonight with a run of 68 to make it 4-4.
They return at 7pm to play their best of 17 encounter to a conclusion.