Snooker: Higgins kept in check by battling Doherty

Higgins, who won the season's first ranking event at the Grand Prix seven weeks ago, is considered by many as the favourite for this tournament, especially in light of Ronnie O'Sullivan's exit at the hands of Mark King.

If Higgins is to progress into the last eight, he will need to shake off a dogged Doherty when the pair resume today. Although the pair shared the first four frames, Doherty signalled his intent with a contribution of 107 and then pulled ahead at 4-2 thanks to a further century. He had more chances to extend his lead but Higgins took the final two frames to level matters.

In last night's other tie, the tournament's two outsiders went head to head, as Stuart Bingham met Mark Davis.

In a mediocre session, it was Bingham who made fewer mistakes and ended up just three frames away from victory at 6-2. Despite the margin by which Bingham leads, the highest break from either man was Bingham's effort of 62, and both will need an improved showing amongst the balls if they are to challenge seriously.

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