Steve Davis kept the prospect of a stunning upset alive in his enthralling second-round match against world champion John Higgins.
With Higgins attempting to defend his Betfred.com World Championship trophy and become the first man to land back-to-back Crucible titles since Stephen Hendry won five in a row from 1992 to 1996, veteran Davis has emerged as his potential slayer.
Davis last won the world title in 1989, and it is too early to predict he could land his seventh this year, but certainly the scalp of Higgins is almost within his grasp after he opened up a 9-7 lead.
Should he win, it would register as perhaps the greatest of all Crucible upsets. Davis was a 500/1 shot for the title before the tournament began, with Higgins 5/1, and the veteran has suggested anyone taking the odds on him would be frittering away their money.
Perhaps not, but there remains a final session to get through on Saturday, and the lead could quickly evaporate.
Higgins has played more like the long-odds outsider so far, and even though he 'won' Friday's session by five frames to three it was Davis who left the arena in high spirits after pinching the last of the session.
Eight-all would have meant Higgins going favourite, but with a two-frame lead Davis has an outstanding chance of reaching the 13-frame victory mark.
Meanwhile, former world champion Graeme Dott, needing to reach the semi-finals to reclaim his place in the top 16, opened up a 7-1 lead over his fellow Scot Stephen Maguire.
Dott went on runs of 94, 110, 99 and 59, and Maguire had a top break of 35, from the opening frame, which he lost. World number two Maguire has never reached a Crucible final, and his prospects for this year were left looking bleak.
Both matches reach their conclusion on Saturday.