Mark Allen hit six breaks of over 50 to take a 6-3 lead over England’s Liam Highfield in their first-round match at the World Championship.
An run of 88 saw Allen win the opening frame before Crucible debutant Highfield replied with a break of 99.
However, Masters champion Allen won five of the next six frames, helped by breaks of 56, 80, 52, 89 and 51, to move into a 6-2 lead.
Highfield won the session’s last frame to give himself renewed hope.
The match will resume on Monday morning with both men aiming to set up a second-round match with Mark Selby’s conqueror Joe Perry.
Allen reached the semi-finals of the World Championship back in 2009 but has failed to move beyond the second round of the tournament in his last six attempts.