Reigning champion Ronnie O’Sullivan threw himself a lifeline by taking the last frame in today's second session against Joe Perry at the World Snooker Championship.

However he remains on the back foot as world number 15 Perry’s 5-3 overnight lead became 9-7 – leaving O’Sullivan needing six frames in the final session of the best-of-25 clash tomorrow.

The Chigwell star – bidding for a sixth career world title at the Crucible – seemed to be rediscovering his touch early on, crafting a 93 before fouling on the black to end his chance of century.

That early warning shot did not put off Perry however, who opened up with a run of 68 in the second frame of the session while O’Sullivan could only muster 15 in reply.

Perry then racked up 48 and 46 after tying up O’Sullivan in a snooker but the five-time world champion hit back in the next two frames to reduce the deficit to just one.

However, O’Sullivan continued to be kept at arm’s length after Perry’s break of 73 in the penultimate frame – before a jittery encounter finished the session.

Perry missed a black on its spot and fouled on two attempted safeties while O’Sullivan missed a slew of routine pots but he finally turned the screw to snare what could be a vital frame.

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