Northern Ireland's Mark Allen edged a thriller 9-8 against Mark Williams to reach the final of the International Championship in Chengdu.

Allen let slip a 7-4 lead in a contest of high quality, but eventually made a crucial clearance in the deciding frame to set up a final meeting with Ricky Walden.

Allen and Walden will do battle over 19 frames on Sunday for the £125,000 top prize after the world number eight overcame the brave challenge of two-time world champion Williams.

The 28-year-old Allen built his lead with breaks of 92, 71, 52, 54, 105, 55, 77 and 67, while Welshman Williams knocked in 120, 135, 70 and 84.

Williams, who has shown signs of a return to form this week and knocked out Ronnie O'Sullivan in the quarter-finals, battled back to 7-7, making a 102 in frame 14.

Allen came from 71-0 down to steal the 15th on the last black, then an 86 in the next from Williams saw this classic contest, fittingly, into a decider.

Both players had chances and Williams looked favourite when he led 46-34 with one red left.

But Allen - who has won the Paul Hunter Classic European Tour event this season and finished runner-up at the Riga Open and Shanghai Masters - made a superb 26 clearance to the pink to seal victory.

Allen and Walden have won two ranking events before - both in China.

Walden won the 2008 Shanghai Masters and 2012 Wuxi Classic while Allen captured the Haikou World Open crown in 2012 and 2013.