Mark Williams took a 5-3 lead over Stuart Bingham in the first session of their Betfred World Championship second round meeting.
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There is an abundance of experience between the pair as they have four world titles and 36 Crucible appearances between them, though this is the first time they have met in this event.
The first four frames were shared, neither player making a break over 50. Williams, the 2000, 2003 and 2018 champion, then stepped up a gear with breaks of 97 and 90 to lead 4-2. The Welshman also took frame seven, getting the better of a safety battle on the penultimate red, to extend his lead.
Basildon’s Bingham, who took the trophy in 2015, made a 57 in the last frame of the session to stay in touch. They play eight more frames on Thursday from 2.30pm, with the concluding session on Friday morning.