Bingham & Jones tied in hard-fought opening to semi

A split picture of Stuart Bingham and Jak Jones
Stuart Bingham and Jak Jones came through the qualifiers before reaching the World Championship semi-finals [Getty Images]

Stuart Bingham and Jak Jones are locked at 4-4 after a hard-fought opening session of their World Championship semi-final.

The 2015 champion Bingham settled first and compiled breaks of 76 and 94 as he raced into a 3-0 lead, but a missed blue to the middle pocket prompted a Jones fightback.

The Welshman cupped his ear to the crowd after holding his nerve to clear the table and get back to 3-1, then enjoyed a run of 66 as he took the next two frames after the mid-session interval to level.

The Englishman responded with a 79 but was heavily punished for missing a black to the middle as Jones replied with a break of 72 to restore parity.

Their best-of-33 encounter will resume at 14:30 BST on Friday.

Earlier on Thursday, David Gilbert and Kyren Wilson could also not be separated, finishing all square at 4-4 as their last-four meeting got underway.

Gilbert & Wilson level in free-flowing encounter

A capacity crowd at the Crucible Theatre were treated to some excellent attacking snooker from Gilbert and Wilson in a brisk affair.

Wilson laid the platform with 73 in the first frame and also compiled 87, 67 and an 88 in the final frame, when he potted 11 reds and 11 blacks before breaking down in his pursuit of the first 147 maximum break of the main-draw tournament.

Speaking on BBC Two, Wilson said he had been rebuked by his brother Taylor for attempting the 147 rather than focusing on winning the frame.

"My brother told me off," he said.

"You want to perform for the crowd and that's why I tried for a cheeky 147. It would have been so special to make it in front of my boys.

"It was a good session, very open and attacking. There were lots of good breaks."

For his part, world number 31 Gilbert constructed a superb 104, and breaks of 91 and 74.

Gilbert's previous appearance in the last four at the Crucible came in 2019, while world number 12 Wilson reached the final in 2020.

Their match will resume at 10:00 on Friday.