Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins level in enthralling World Championship semi-final

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Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins level in enthralling World Championship semi-final
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Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins are finely poised at 4-4 after an engrossing first session of their titanic World Championship semi-final clash, writes Ben Parsons.

The legendary ‘Class of 92’ duo were greeted to a standing ovation and a cacophony of noise in the iconic Crucible Theatre after completing the fabled ‘Class of 92’ line-up in the final four in Sheffield.

Three decades after graduating as professionals, the best-of-33 showdown has allowed fans to indulge in one of the great sporting rivalries at snooker’s spiritual home.

And it was four-time champion Higgins who set the pace early on, racing into a 3-0 lead after some tentative play from O’Sullivan.

The Rocket, bidding to match Stephen Hendry’s record of seven world titles, has been strikingly relaxed during his 30th appearance at the Crucible.

But he lost his cool as he squandered early chances, smashing his cue into the floor, and Higgins took full advantage.

Breaks of 50 and 58 helped the Scot open up an early cushion, but the irrepressible O’Sullivan responded in style.

The six-time champion sparked into life after taking the final frame before the mid-session interval.

O’Sullivan had impressive runs of 70 and 54 before a scintillating 116 break drew him level at 3-3.

And he looked destined to take the seventh frame until a poor safety shot allowed Higgins to clear up and edge ahead.

But O’Sullivan responded once again with a clinical 107 clearance, his second century of the evening, to leave the match perfectly poised at all-square ahead of Friday afternoon's second session.

In the other semi-final, fellow Class of 92 member Mark Williams has work to do after being completely outplayed by 2019 champion Judd Trump.

Trump completely dominated the Welshman, taking a 7-1 lead in a one-sided first session.

Williams and Trump will resume their match on Friday morning.

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