Ali Carter got past Graeme Dott to set up the meeting with five-time champion O’Sullivan
2018 World Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 21 April – 7 May
Coverage: Watch live across BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.

Two-time World Championship runner-up Ali Carter built a surprise 5-3 lead over Ronnie O’Sullivan in an intriguing start to their second-round match.

Carter, 38, has lost all four of their meetings at the Crucible, including the 2008 and 2012 finals.

Rapid breaks of 121 and 61 saw O’Sullivan move 2-1 ahead, but the world number 15 made it 2-2 and a stylish 115 clearance put him 3-2 up.

O’Sullivan levelled with an effortless 96, but Carter won the last two frames.

A high-quality encounter also saw both men waste opportunities to take a healthy lead.

Carter will rue a simple missed blue in frame six, but he recovered to edge ahead at 4-3 and ensured he led the tournament favourite thanks to a fine clearance of 68 in the final frame of the opening session of their best-of-25 frame match.


Alan McManus, three-time Crucible semi-finalist and 1994 Masters champion

They are both playing near the top of their game. There have been a couple of mistakes but that is going to happen. Both are playing brilliantly.

Ronnie’s ‘B’ game is awesome and his ‘C’ game is more than adequate, but Ali has the class and attitude to compete.

He’s happy to speak his mind and has the juice to back it up.

His highest break of the first four frames was 39. He probably thought that it was lovely to be 2-2 at the break. After that Carter was getting opportunities by working the frame. He earned the right to get a second chance.

I wouldn’t like to a pick a winner.

Perry fights back against Allen

World number 22 Joe Perry fought back from 5-3 down against Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen to leave their last-16 match delicately poised at 8-8 after their second session.

Perry scored two centuries in winning three of the first four frames to level at 6-6 and although Masters champion Allen won the next two, the Cambridge potter hit back once again.

Both matches resume tonight, with O’Sullivan, 42, and Carter in their second session, while Allen and Perry play to a finish in their third and final session.

Still to come

Friday afternoon’s action sees Kettering’s world number nine Kyren Wilson begin his second-round tie against Welsh qualifier Jamie Jones.

World number six Barry Hawkins is also on the baize, carrying over a 5-3 lead against Chinese Crucible debutant Lyu Haotian. Hawkins, the 2013 runner-up, has reached the semi-finals in three of the past four years, also reaching the last eight in 2016.

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