Hendry lets lead slip

Stephen Hendry was pegged back by Ding Junhui in a terrific middle session of their Betfred.com World Championship second-round clash.

The seven-time champion's bid to win the world title at the age of 40 looked to be gathering momentum, but he threw away a commanding lead in the final frame of the session to allow Ding to draw level at 8-8.

Perthshire potter Hendry came to the Crucible this year as a 50-1 outsider, having won his last world title in 1999.

But he looked in decent form as he made breaks of 65, 51, 61 and 114, while Ding compiled runs of 53, 130 and 87.

But it was the 35 from Chinese cueman Ding at the conclusion of the 16th frame which will have hurt Hendry the most, as his opponent fought back from 60-18 down.

Needing two snookers, Ding would have been delighted to see Hendry hit the pink and also go in-off, making the frame winnable again, and his break from the final red was the difference between trailing 9-7 and resuming on level terms this evening.

Ding left himself with work to do on the black, but he clipped the ball in via both jaws to thrill his army of supporters.

This was the first of the two sessions the pair will play today, with the match concluding this evening and threatening to go all the way to 25 frames.

Ryan Day made the perfect start to his second-round clash against veteran Nigel Bond and opened up a 6-2 lead.

The Welshman fired in a top break of 79 and added five more runs in excess of 40 to take control and put himself on target for a quarter-final against Ronnie O'Sullivan or Mark Allen.

Day is considered a dark horse for world title glory, and the 29-year-old showed his clinical side in the early stages of his best-of-25-frames tussle against Derbyshire man Bond.

Bond grabbed the opening frame with a run of 62, and the fifth with breaks of 59 and 48.

But he was left to regret not making the most of a frame-winning opportunity in the eighth.

Bond was first in and a break of 60 made him favourite, but Day hit back with a clearance of 74 to develop a four-frame advantage heading into tonight's second session, with the match due to be completed tomorrow afternoon.

At 43, Bond is the oldest player left in the World Championship, following Steve Davis' elimination in the first round.

Having knocked out Peter Ebdon in the first round, the 1995 finalist was bidding to go beyond the second round for the first time since 1996, while Day was hoping to reach the quarter-finals for a second season in a row.

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