Colchester's Ali Carter made history last night with a 147 in his World Championship quarter-final against Peter Ebdon. Following Monday's maximum by his fellow Essex boy Ronnie O'Sullivan, it is the first time there have ever been two 147s in the same Crucible tournament, let alone on consecutive days. Carter and Ebdon will start the concluding session of their best-of-25 frames match today with Carter leading 9-7.
While O'Sullivan's maximum was the ninth of his career, yesterday's 147 was Carter's highest break in competition. The 28-year-old celebrated his feat by running around the table punching the air and was then embraced by Ebdon. He will now share with O'Sullivan the £157,000 bonus money on offer for a 147, made up of £147,000 for the maximum, plus £10,000 for the tournament's highest break.
There was almost a 147 in another of yesterday's quarter-finals, between Stephen Hendry and Ryan Day. In the fourth frame of the morning, Hendry potted 14 reds and 14 blacks, only to be thwarted by a kick that led to him missing the final red. Hendry won the session 7-1 and the Scottish seven-times former winner holds an 11-5 overnight lead ahead of this afternoon's concluding session.
The strength in depth of the championship's challengers was underlined as O'Sullivan could only share the spoils in the first session of his quarter-final against qualifier Liang Wenbo. They will resume this morning tied at 4-4.
China's Liang, 21, served notice of his rapidly emerging talent by easing past Ken Doherty in the first round and then holding on to beat Joe Swail in a 13-12 thriller on Monday night.
Only one of yesterday's frames did not include a break over 50, and in that one Liang hit breaks of 48 and 49 to clinch it and go 2-0 up. O'Sullivan had not potted a ball, but took the third frame with a 109 and the next two with knocks of 58 and 71.
Liang hit a 104 for 3-3, then an 89 to take the lead. O'Sullivan restored parity with a 64. Their match will be played to a finish over two sessions today.
Another indicator of the standard of play is the number of centuries in the event so far – 50 – with six more days of competition left. The world championship record is 68 tons.