John Higgins won six of the afternoon’s eight frames to stun Judd Trump and take a 13-12 lead into the last session of the World Championship final.
The 21-year-old Bristolian resumed at 10-7 and a 104 cancelled out Higgins’ opening frame.
The pair traded blows as the three-time champion scored a 97, before Trump surged ahead 12-9 with a 99.
But the Scot went into overdrive after Trump missed a blue to rattle off four frames and needs five more for glory.
After Trump’s late burst of three successive frames on Sunday night, it was crucial for the 35-year-old Higgins to make a strong start and he didn’t disappoint his army of fans inside the Crucible arena.
His run of 59 proved enough to reduce the deficit back to two, only for the left-handed potting machine, who recently won the China Open, to get back on track and dispel any concerns over coping with the pressures of a world final.
Higgins missed a tough red into the middle and his opponent returned to the baize and patiently worked his way through the balls to score a 104 – his third century of the match – to lead 11-8.
Back came the three-time champion in typical battling style and he would have been delighted to surpass his match’s previous best break of 64 with a 97. Only a black jiggling in the jaws denied him the century but at least it encouraged a big smile.
The Scottish delight once again turned as Higgins had to sit back and watch his opponent breeze around the table to stroke in a 99 and was unlucky not to produce his final’s fourth ton when trying to dislodge the last red off the cushion.
At 12-9 the momentum was very much in favour of the young star based at Romford’s Grove Academy, but after Trump missed a very tricky blue on the rails when trailing 50-52 seem, the mood changed.
A two-frame deficit was quickly one when another missed blue by Trump led to the Scot scoring a 93, and then a brilliant 113 for his first century in the match drew the scores level at 12-12.
For the first time in this enthralling encounter, the player, known as ‘the Ace’, looked rattled and with another miss in the 25th frame, a charged-up Higgins compiled a 57 to seize control and lead for the first time since the end of the fifth frame.