Snooker: O'Sullivan in control while Ebdon and Fu drive the crowd potty

Ronnie O'Sullivan has yet to hit his awesome stride at this year's world championship but even a below-par Rocket is too good for most as the twice champion proved last night in building up a 5-3 overnight lead in his semi-final against Graeme Dott.

Dott cued serenely, scored heavily and held his own in the safety exchanges in the opening four frames but could still only share them, and then lost three on the bounce before a composed 70 break to take the last. O'Sullivan let him in with a miss when 44-2 ahead.

Dott made 121 with his first visit to the table of the night for 1-0. O'Sullivan edged the second with a 34. Dott, who won the first five frames the last time this pair met at the Crucible ­ in the 2004 final ­ hit a 68 for 2-1 but O'Sullivan won the next four for 5-2, with a 66 break in the fifth his top score of the evening.

The evening's action was in stark contrast to the first session of the other semi, between Peter Ebdon and Marco Fu. The BBC studio at the Crucible received an email from two snooker fans in Belgium shortly before 6pm. Anticipating a couple of hours watching Ebdon-Fu, they had opened a bottle of wine. By the time they sent the email, four hours after it started, the match was still in only the seventh frame, and the Belgians were on their third bottle.

As they polished it off, Ebdon took a 4-3 lead, and it's not hard to imagine them being well into bottle number four before Fu levelled at 4-4 to conclude their day at 6.48pm.

There may have been slower, patchier, edgier, cagier sessions in the world semi-finals, but if anyone could remember yesterday, they were probably too comatose to speak up and say when.

One punter in the crowd spoke up, at about 6.20pm. "Come on lads, get on with it," he shouted. "It's like watching paint dry!" The fan was given the verbal equivalent of a yellow card by the referee. Securing a yellow at the first attempt was a feat worthy of praise yesterday.

In defence of the protagonists, a world semi-final is about as high-stakes as it gets, not least for Fu, who has never been this far before and is only the second man from Asia to reach the last four. (On a digressive note, and it was an afternoon that needed them, Fu is from Hong Kong but spends much of his time in Llanelli, at the snooker club owned by his new mentor, Terry Griffiths, while Ebdon, as English as they come, lives in Asia, or Dubai to be precise). Ebdon took the second with a break of 56. Fu got the third with breaks of 32 and 25.

Ebdon, who has been playing superbly this fortnight, and with a dash of pace now and then to complement his steely concentration, hit 42 and 50 for 2-2, then went ahead with two breaks of 39 in the fifth. Their eighth and final frame lasted 47 minutes, with errors too numerous to count. Fu clawed back from 41 points in arrears to snatch victory on the colours. (Slowly, of course).

Life and Style
A nearly completed RoboThespian robot inside the Engineered Arts workshop is tested in Penryn, England. The Cornish company, operating from an industrial unit near Falmouth, is the world's only maker of commercially available life sized humanoid robots
techSuper-intelligent robots could decide destroying the human race is the kindest thing to do
News
The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
food + drinkTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
Life and Style
techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
newsComedian Lee Hurst started trend with first tweet using the hashtag
News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
News
newsRyan Crighton goes in search of the capo dei capi
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Extras
indybest

Arts and Entertainment
Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a
film
Sport
sport
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Software Developer (Java /C# Programmer)- London

£30000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global investment management fi...

Senior Network Engineer-(CCIE, CCNP, Cisco, London)

£65000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(CCIE, CC...

Senior Network Analyst - (CCIE, Cisco, CISSP)

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Analyst - (CCIE, C...

Senior Network Engineer-(Design, Implementation, CCIE)

£60000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(Design, ...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition