Snooker - Bingham beats Ding to reach Welsh Open final

Stuart Bingham held his nerve to beat Ding Junhui 6-5 in a tense deciding frame in their Welsh Open semi-final in Newport.

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Stuart Bingham

Ding held a 5-4 lead after having trailed for much of the match, but Bingham ruthlessly levelled the match at 5-5 before taking the final 11th frame in nerveless fashion.

The world number 10 will face either world number two Judd Trump or Stephen Maguire in Sunday’s showpiece, with the second last-four encounter from 7pm UK time.

Bingham immediately stamped his authority on the match with two stints at the table to compile 88 in response to Ding’s 22 and take the opening frame.

Ding managed a break of 57 in the second frame, but it proved insufficient as the world number 10 secured a break of 64 to take it.

He suddenly found himself two frames down, but Ding refused to be dictated to and belatedly discovered some fluency as he prevented Bingham scoring in the third, racking up a break of 56 and a score of 104.

It was a blip for Bingham, and he found a swift response: the Englishman produced a distinguished break of 74 to take the fourth frame ahead of the interval.

Ding came out after the break very focused, and wasted no time in reducing the deficit once more as he scored 88, with a break of 72, to again peg his opponent back.

The match’s repetitive pattern continued as Bingham again restored his two-frame cushion with a hard-fought 84 in numerous instalments as Ding’s 48 was rendered irrelevant.

But again Ding roared back with a commanding break of 67 and a score of 82 as he ensured that Bingham was never able to run away with proceedings.

Ding clawed his way back to level terms by taking a cagey eighth frame, and a faultless break of 70 saw him finally assume the lead as Bingham appeared to lose all momentum.

But the 36-year-old from Basildon saved his best for the match’s finale as he produced stunning breaks of 93 and 108 to close out a fine victory and set up a clash with either Trump or Maguire.

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