Wilson and Jones to meet in Crucible final

Kyren Wilson celebrates after beating David Gilbert
England's Kyren Wilson also reached the final in 2020 [PA Media]

Kyren Wilson claimed a comfortable 17-11 win over David Gilbert to reach his second World Championship final at the Crucible Theatre.

Wilson, 32, laid the platform for his success with a clinical display on Friday evening when he opened up a 14-10 advantage, then continued in the same vein in Saturday’s concluding session.

Wales' Jak Jones will meet Wilson in the showpiece match after he defeated 2015 champion Stuart Bingham 17-12 in a gruelling encounter that lasted more than 12 hours.

World number 44 Jones led 13-10 going into the final session, then made four half-century breaks to become the lowest-ranked finalist in 19 years.

If Jones triumphs against Wilson he would be the first qualifier since Shaun Murphy in 2005 to lift the trophy.

“It is crazy and totally unexpected coming into the tournament," Jones said.

"I don’t think I’ve played particularly well, I haven’t scored particularly well, but my match-play has got me through."

Earlier in the day, Gilbert attempted to spark a revival with a wonderful break of 70, but Wilson, who punched the air and blew a kiss to his family after clinching his victory, was simply too strong.

He punished errors by Gilbert in the next two frames and secured his first appearance in a final this season with a clinical break of 67.

"I didn't even know what it was first to, I just kept playing," Wilson told BBC Sport.

"It felt like I broke the back of the match yesterday and I was very focused on hitting home the advantage. It was nice to kill off the match in one clean hit."

Emotional Wilson sets up chance of glory

When Wilson reached the world final four years ago he did so in dramatic fashion, fluking the green in a final-frame decider and emotionally apologising to his opponent Anthony McGill.

It was another poignant moment on Saturday afternoon when he pointed up to his family in the crowd after dispatching the match-clinching blue ball.

Wilson has dominated all four of his matches and is a deserved finalist once again.

He thrashed Dominic Dale 10-1 and looked in top form against Joe O'Connor (13-6) and John Higgins (13-8), before advancing past world number 31 and 2019 semi-finalist Gilbert.

Having almost written off the entire first part of this term – when he tinkered by wearing a glove – Wilson has reserved his best form for when it matters most.

The last seed standing now arguably has his best opportunity to fulfil his greatest ambition.

"Coming into this event I didn't have the best of seasons, and then all of a sudden everybody is saying I'm the favourite and I've got to handle that pressure," Wilson said.

"I'm quite aware of that, but Dave had every right to be beating me as well.

"Dave's a classy cueist, hits the ball unbelievably well and I just had to try to stop him getting into his stride."

Unflappable Jones advances past Bingham

Jak Jones studies a shot
The World Championship final will be Jak Jones' first appearance in a ranking final [Getty Images]

Bingham entered into his contest with Jones aiming to become the oldest Crucible champion ever at the age of 47, but he simply made too many errors to achieve that goal.

The form and rhythm that saw him dispatch seven-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan in the last eight seemed to abandon him, with the Welshman unflappable throughout and able to take full advantage.

"I must have given eight frames away," Bingham told BBC Sport.

"I must have missed eight or nine blacks off the spot. I'm very disappointed, after playing like I did against Ronnie. I just didn't enjoy it out there."

The world number 29 was heavily punished for misses on a long green and black off its spot in the afternoon, and a curious attempted safety on the green - moments after sinking a sensational pot on the yellow - proved pivotal on Saturday evening.

Instead of Bingham clawing his way back to within a frame at 13-12, his errant attempt at a safety shot allowed Jones to pull further clear at 14-11.

Jones enjoyed a run of 66 to go 15-11 up, with further runs of 70 and 58 securing a famous win.

"I'm making 60s or 70s but I'm not doing anything special. If you keep winning those [tight] frames, they are big and they hurt your opponent," he added.

No fairytale ending for well-liked Gilbert

Meanwhile, for the well-liked Gilbert there is to be no fairytale ending to one of snooker’s great comeback stories.

The Englishman has slipped down the rankings in recent seasons from a career-high 10th in the world, despite his abundant talent.

He said he barely wanted to pick up his cue for the qualifiers after a dismal campaign that had seen him reach just one quarter-final prior to his arrival in Sheffield.

"It's been a great run - it was a very disappointing way to go out because I really believed I could win that game," Gilbert told BBC Sport.

"I had more than enough chances to do so, but good luck to Kyren."

Gilbert, whose progress to the last four included a win over defending champion Luca Brecel, added: "Nothing to feel too bad about, I just lost a game of snooker.

"I'd love to get back in the top 16 - I miss it and I feel like I can be a top-16 player, and we'll see. I'll look forward to next season."