Gary Wilson will take a 9-7 advantage over Mark Selby into the concluding session of their second round clash at the Betfred World Championship in Sheffield.
Wallsend’s Wilson currently has an unenviable head-to-head record against three-time World Champion Selby. He’s lost all five of his previous matches with the Jester from Leicester. Their most recent meeting came at the 2016 English Open, where Selby secured a 4-0 whitewash. Wilson was also on the wrong end of a 10-2 scoreline in the final of the 2015 China Open.
However, it’s Wilson who has been setting the pace this afternoon. The world number 32 is competing in the last 16 at the World Championship for the first time. His decider in the previous round against Luca Brecel was the longest frame in Crucible history, but he came through to seal a fine 10-9 win.
Wilson secured a 5-3 lead after the opening session and he continued to push on this afternoon, despite 15-time ranking event winner Selby throwing everything at him.
Selby took the opening two frames with breaks of 64 and 84 to level at 5-5, before Wilson responded with a run of 60 to regain the lead.
Selby then fired in contributions of 120 and 74 to take the lead for the first time in the match at 7-6. However, Wilson showed his steel with breaks of 97, 115 and 78 to claim the final three frames of the session and emerge with a 9-7 lead. They will play to a finish at 10am tomorrow.
On the other table David Gilbert seized the early initiative against defending champion Mark Williams, to take a 5-3 cushion after their opening session.
The match is a repeat of this season’s dramatic Yushan World Open final. On that occasion Gilbert held a 9-5 advantage, but let it slip as Williams roared back to win 10-9.
Gilbert is competing as a Crucible seed for the first time and he put on an impressive display this afternoon. Breaks of 61, 61 52 and 58 helped him to earn a two-frame gap heading into tomorrow. They resume at 10am.