Shaun Murphy will take a slender 9-8 lead into day two of the 2015 World Snooker Championship final against Stuart Bingham at The Crucible.
'The Magician', who won the tournament as a qualifier in 2005 and made the final again four years later before losing to John Higgins, raced into a three-frame lead in the afternoon but was pegged back in the fourth after his experienced opponent made an excellent break of 108.
Bingham further reduced the arrears as a break of 56 helped him to take frame five 68-15, before Murphy then looked to reassert his authority with an unanswered 90.
The two players then claimed one more frame each to leave things finely poised at four apiece heading into a wonderfully entertaining evening session.
Having edged ahead in the first frame back on the baize, Murphy then made breaks of 106 and 121 and threatened to put the result beyond doubt as he led 8-4.
Bingham has already shown impressive resilience in this year's tournament in victories over Ronnie O'Sullivan and Judd Trump, however, and he kept himself in contention by taking the next three. His break of 123 in the 14th frame was the highest of the final so far.
The last two frames were then split and the tie now hangs in the balance with play scheduled to resume at 14:00 BST on 4 May.