The former champion is through to the last 16 for the third year in a row.
Stuart Bingham said he produced one of the breaks of his career after denying Ding Junhui in the last 32 of the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield on Tuesday.
After being pulled off during their second session with the encounter delicately poised heading into the deciding frame, Bingham returned the stronger at the end of the day’s play and took the do-or-die frame with an excellent 70 contribution.
The clash had twisted one way and then the other on several occasions throughout what had been billed as the tie of the first round, and the deciding frame followed the same pattern as Ding broke down on his initial opportunity to allow Bingham in to snatch the triumph at the last moment.
Ding’s World Championship misery continues as his wait for a maiden Crucible crown is prolonged for another year, whereas Bingham advances to the last 16 of the World Snooker Championship draw to face fellow qualifier Jamie Jones.
“I’m over the moon to get through that match with Ding,” Bingham, whose career highlight was winning the 2015 World Championship, told tournament sponsor Betfred soon after completing the victory.
“It was a classic match, I was obviously gutted to be pulled off at 9-9 but it probably done us both a favour to try and chill out for a few hours.”
“The first eight or nine minutes of that deciding frame it was unbelievable safety, not giving each other a chance.
“He went in-off and I rushed a shot, missed it, and I thought that was it – I was sitting in my chair thinking that’s not the best way to go out.
“Luckily he missed, and I produced one of the best 70s of my career, and maybe one of the best at the Crucible Theatre.
“It’s going to be tough (against Jamie Jones), he’s probably playing the best snooker of his life, it’s his first season back on tour after what he went through, first time at Qualifying School and got through that.
“He said at the start that he didn’t know how he was going to string two balls together, let alone matches, but at the end of the year he’s in the last 16 of the Worlds so he’s going to be one hell of a tough player.”
Bingham, the former world number two, has odds of 20/1 with online sports betting company Casumo to win the tournament for a second time in his career.
Elsewhere on day four, Mark Allen compiled a hat-trick of century breaks in an impressive 10-2 rout of Lyu Haotian – a result along with Ding’s exit that means only Yan Bingtao is left remaining out of the Chinese crop of hopeful contenders.
Jack Lisoswki fought back superbly well in the other match that concluded, retrieving an 8-6 deficit to deny Ali Carter in an equally thrilling decider.
Meanwhile, Judd Trump and Barry Hawkins have established comprehensive overnight leads against Liam Highfield and Matthew Selt respectively.
Live coverage continues on the BBC and Eurosport.
Featured photo credit: WST