Benito van de Pas produced an extraordinary display of finishing as he thrashed eight-times major winner James Wade 10-3 to reach his first PDC major quarter-final at the Players Championship Finals, in Minehead.
van de Pas averaged 105.39 and hit 66% on his doubles en route to dismantling the Machine. Benito replicated the finishing he produced in yesterday’s win over Stephen Bunting, although his overall performance today, was far more impressive.
van de Pas stormed into a 1-0 lead by taking out 72 in just two-darts for an instant break of throw. The 22-year-old doubled his advantage moments later, taking out 79 in two-darts for another 14-dart leg.
Benito repeated the feat in the third leg, producing his third consecutive 14-darter by again taking out 72. Wade was visibly shocked by the Dutchman’s explosive start and things got worse for the Machine, as van de Pas took out 96, via S20, D18 and D20, to lead 4-0.
However, Wade opened his account just prior to the interval, taking out an impressive 102 checkout to reduce the arrears to 4-1. It was interesting to see whether the break in play would affect Benito’s momentum and rhythm, although those fears were instantly dispelled.
Benito recorded legs of 15,11, 14 and 14 en route to establishing a 8-1 lead, and he was throwing with immense c0nfidence. However, Wade claimed his second leg, hitting D10 after Benito had missed one dart at D20 for a 9-1 advantage.
Benito broke Wade instantly after the second interval, hitting D20 with his third and final dart, although he was denied victory in the twelfth leg, as Wade again hit D10 to claim his third leg of the contest.
Nevertheless, any hopes of an extraordinary Wade fightback were immediately quashed in the following leg. Van de Pas hit two visits of 177, before taking out 90 for an 11-darter, to seal arguably, the best win of his career.
It was a sublime display of finishing. Benito recorded finishes of 72, 79, 72, 96, 96, 85 and 90. These are the finishes you must produce to beat a player of Wade’s calibre, and van de Pas certainly delivered. This was arguably one of the most complete performances by any player in 2015.
Elsewhere, Mensur Suljovic caused a minor upset in Minehead, as he cruised to an emphatic 10-3 win over World Number 8 Michael Smith. Suljovic came agonisingly close to clinching the victory with his first ever TV 9-darter, but he missed D18, eventually sealing the win in 10 darts.
After Suljovic claimed the opening leg, Smith squandered three darts at double to restore parity, and the Austrian capitalised. He raced into a 3-0 lead, and extended his lead with a superb 12-dart 96 finish.
Smith had another opportunity to open his account in the fifth leg, but he missed a dart at D11, allowing Suljovic to convert 43 on his favourite D14, to lead 5-0 at the interval.
‘Bully-Boy’ launched an admirable fightback after the break, reeling off three consecutive legs to reduce the deficit to two legs.
Nevertheless, missed doubles proved costly for the former World-Youth Champion, as Suljovic regained his commanding cushion, to lead 7-3 at the second intermission.
Mensur is notorious for his methodical approach to the oche, and the lacklustre pace of the game was clearly disrupting Michael, who was unable to produce his usual heavy scoring.
After busting 64 due to a miscount, Suljovic returned to make amends and lead 8-3, which essentially ended the hopes of the St Helen’s star. Suljovic moved to the cusp of victory in the following leg, before almost producing a 9-darter to clinch the match.
However, Suljovic hit D18 for a 10-darter to claim another tremendous TV victory. The Austrian has now reached the quarter-final stage of every TV ranking event he’s participated in throughout 2015, which is a commendable record.
Furthermore, Dave Chisnall survived a major scare against Jamie Lewis, coming from 8-6 down to seal his place in tomorrow’s quarter-finals.
Lewis missed multiple doubles early on, allowing Chisnall to fashion out a 2-1 lead, but the young Welshman responded superbly, delivering finishes of 113 and 142 to take a slender 3-2 lead into the interval.
Jamie appeared in command of the sixth leg on Chisnall’s throw, but Chizzy produced a spectacular checkout of his own, taking out 164 to restore parity in the contest.
This appeared to affect Jamie, as Chisnall capitalised on 4 missed doubles from the Welshman to regain the lead, although Chisnall himself was guilty of profligacy in the following leg, as Lewis drew level again.
The next two legs were shared and the contest was finely poised at 5-5 heading into the final interval break. Lewis come out firing after the break, taking out 98 to lead 6-5, but Chisnall continued to respond, hitting D16 for 6-6, after Jamie had wired the bull for a 128 finish.
Nevertheless, in the following leg, Chisnall was left ruing a missed shot at bullseye, as Lewis regained the initiative with a 70 finish on D4. In the fourteenth leg, ‘Rasta’ opened up a two-leg cushion, hitting D8 after Chizzy again missed bull for an 88 checkout.
However, what made this tussle so enthralling were the constant shifts in momentum. Just as you felt Jamie Lewis was on the cusp of victory, Chisnall fought back, and levelled up proceedings at 8-8 by hitting D16 and D8.
The World Number 13 had the momentum and produced a dominant scoring leg against the throw. After Jamie failed to take out 111, Chizzy held his nerve, taking out D12 with his third and final dart, which saw him throw for the match.
Despite this, Chizzy began the leg in mediocre fashion, with successive visits without a treble. Back-to-back 140’s put Lewis in command of the leg, but after missing two darts at double to force a deciding-leg, Chisnall sealed the win, taking out 76 on D20.
It was an enthralling battle. Both men threw some outstanding darts at certain junctures in the match, but ultimately Chisnall’s experience paid dividends. Dave will now definitely face a Dutchman in the last eight; either Michael van Gerwen or Vincent van der Voort.
However, Jamie Lewis deserves great credit for another excellent display, after knocking out World Grand-Prix Champion Robert Thornton last night. After reaching his first PDC major quarter-final in Dublin in October, Jamie continues to go from strength-to-strength.
Last year’s finalist Adrian Lewis breezed through to the last eight, after beating 2014 Lakeside finalist Alan Norris 10-3.
Norris matched Jackpot in the scoring department for much of the contest, although Adrian was far more clinical in the latter stages of legs, which proved decisive.
After Norris narrowly missed the bull for a 132 checkout in the tenth leg, Lewis established a commanding 7-3 lead going into the interval, which was critical.
Adrian came out after the break in blistering fashion, firing in multiple 180’s and hitting successive 11-darters, courtesy of 96 and 81 finishes. He continued this fine scoring to clinch the match by a comprehensive 10-3 scoreline, hitting D20 for a 13-darter.
Although he wasn’t at his best for much of the encounter, he produced when necessary and with a 99.5 average and 55% on the doubles, Adrian’s game is looking in solid shape heading into final’s day tomorrow, where he will face Peter Wright or Simon Whitlock in the quarter-finals.