Home favourite Ding Junhui was made to work hard but eventually overcame Stephen Maguire 5-4 to progress to the semi-finals of the Wuxi Classic in China.
Ding grew up in Wuxi so naturally had the bulk of the support but the partisan crowd were treated to an entertaining battle that was settled with a dramatic deciding frame.
It made a change from Maguire’s opening round match yesterday where he beat Ding’s countryman Liang Wenbo in a dull contest.
Today, though, the Scotsman regained his form and knocked in two century breaks.
In a high quality affair, Ding also knocked in the highest break of the tournament so far with a 137 but, in the end, the match was settled with a brace of scrappy, but thrilling, frames.
Both players had chances to win but Ding – a finalist in each of three previous times the tournament has been staged as well as lifting the trophy in 2008 – delighted his followers by capitalizing on a missed brown by his opponent and marched into the last four.
Ali Carter was also made to work hard for his win over the impressive rookie Yu Delu but eventually emerged victorious 5-3.
Yu Delu has enjoyed a good start to his debut season as a professional and beat Matthew Stevens in the first round yesterday but finally came unstuck against ‘The Captain’ when the scores were locked at 3-3.
Earlier, defending champion Shaun Murphy and fellow Englishman Mark Selby wasted no energy in defeating former world champions Peter Ebdon 5-1 and Graeme Dott 5-0 respectively.