Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson secured their first wins of the season with victories over Peter Wright and Jelle Klaasen respectively, as Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld and James Wade maintained their unbeaten starts on a cracking night of action in week two at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham.
Van Gerwen registered the first win of his Premier League title defence with victory over Peter Wright. The world number one missed three darts for a whitewash, but eventually wrapped up a 7-3 triumph with an impressive 105.21 average, as Snakebite failed to replicate the form which saw him clinch two UK Open qualifiers last weekend.
Wright kicked off the contest with a maximum, but spurned four darts at double to hold and this proved pivotal. MvG opened his account via D10, before converting a clinical 86 kill for an 11-dart hold. ‘The Green Machine’ posted a 14-darter for a double-break, before following his first maximum with a stunning 170 finish for his fourth consecutive leg.
The Dutchman continued the procession with a 13-darter for his fifth straight leg, before pegging D4 to guarantee himself a point after Snakebite was unable to take out 120. Van Gerwen had the opportunity to complete a whitewash victory, but squandered three match darts as Wright gratefully completed a 64 checkout to avoid the indignity of a whitewash.
The world number one then posted a sluggish leg with the darts as Wright doubled his tally with D10, before recording his third straight leg on D8 after further misses from MvG. Nevertheless, any hopes of a heroic fightback were unceremoniously ended as Van Gerwen fired in two maximums in the tenth leg to seal the two points by hitting D8.
James Wade and Phil Taylor shared the spoils in an engrossing tussle. ‘The Machine’ averaged 98.88, landed four maximums and converted 38% of his attempts to continue his strong start to the season. By comparison, Taylor averaged 92.07 and failed to register a maximum, but three ton-plus finishes secured the 56-year-old a valuable point.
Wade held throw in the opening leg on D5 after Taylor spurned three darts at D19 to break. The left-hander then doubled his advantage with a brilliant 12-dart break of throw; following up his first maximum with a clinical 121 outshot (T20, T11, D14). However, Taylor wasn’t to be outdone; taking out a 121 of his own on the bullseye to fire straight back.
Wade crashed in his second maximum and converted a clinical 81 outshot for an 11-darter to regain his two-leg cushion, before he missed four darts at double to establish a three-leg cushion. Taylor punished this error; securing the fourth successive break of throw via D11, before dispatching a 104 kill to level up proceedings at three apiece.
The next two legs both went with throw, before the eight-time major winner posted his fourth maximum and rounded-off a 13-dart hold on tops. The Aldershot ace then had the opportunity to guarantee himself a point, but missed tops for a 104 outshot, as Taylor eventually sank D19 to draw level once again.
Missed doubles again plagued ‘The Machine’ in the eleventh leg. He failed to convert a regulation 56 checkout and Taylor conjured up a majestic 142 kill via D11 to break and lead for the first time. Nevertheless, ‘The Power’ was unable to close out victory, as Wade responded with a 15-darter on tops to salvage a point in the decider.
Kim Huybrechts secured his first point of the 2017 season after sharing the spoils with Raymond van Barneveld in a very entertaining tussle. Huybrechts averaged 96.99, whilst Van Barneveld averaged 93.91 and landed seven maximums to maintain his unbeaten start to the campaign.
The pair exchanged 15-dart breaks of throw to kick off the contest, before Huybrechts registered a 14-darter to hold. ‘The Hurricane’ then recorded his third straight leg with an accomplished 62 checkout, but Barney responded strongly.
The five-time world champion crashed in his fourth maximum and pinned D4 to stop the rot with a 13-dart break, before levelling the contest on D5 having posted his fifth maximum earlier in the leg. Van Barneveld then clinched his third leg in succession to regain the lead after the Belgian spurned a multitude of darts to hold.
Nevertheless, the Dutchman was punished for profligacy of his own moments later. The 49-year-old squandered four darts at D16 for a 5-3 advantage, as Huybrechts pegged the same target to level and halt RvB’s charge.
The topsy-turvy nature of this contest continued as ‘The Hurricane’ wrestled back the initiative with a clinical 79 kill, but Van Barneveld fired in his sixth maximum to level the contest once more after pinning D5 with his last dart in hand.
Barney then had the chance to break Huybrechts’ throw for a fourth time but wired the bull for a 90 outshot, as the Belgian sank D4 to secure his first point of the season. However, Van Barneveld held his nerve in the final leg; following up his seventh maximum with a nerveless 80 finish on tops to end the night joint top with three points.
Gary Anderson continued his unbeaten start to the Premier League with an impressive 7-3 win over Jelle Klaasen. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ was in ruthless mood; averaging 100.04, landing two maximums and converting 54% of his attempts at double to secure his first win of the season, whilst inflicting Klaasen’s second straight defeat.
‘The Cobra’ made a blistering start to the contest; opening up proceedings with a maximum before clinching the opening leg inside 11 darts. However, this spurred Anderson into action. The world number two levelled with a tremendous 119 finish (T19, T12, D13), before breaking the Dutchman’s throw with a fine 13-darter.
The next two legs were shared, before Anderson registered legs of 13 and 14 darts to seize total control of the contest. The Scot won his third straight leg via D5 to guarantee himself a point, and although Klaasen landed a magnificent 122 finish to prolong the contest, he failed to take out 68 moments later as Anderson wrapped up victory on D2.
Adrian Lewis sealed his first win of the campaign with an emphatic 7-2 triumph over his stablemate Dave Chisnall. ‘Jackpot’ capitalised on an indifferent display from ‘Chizzy’ to prevail with a 94.40 average and a 53% checkout success rate, as the St Helen’s star was punished for averaging just 90.48 and hitting a miserly 29% of his double attempts.
Lewis converted a clean 81 kill to clinch the opening leg, before doubling his tally via D1. Chisnall opened his account in the third leg after following his second maximum with a 13-darter on tops, but Lewis responded by landing five perfect darts and completing a 76 checkout for a 12-dart break of throw.
Chisnall was floundering and Lewis registered legs of 13 and 14 darts to establish a comprehensive 5-1 cushion. The Stoke star then conjured up a stunning 160 finish to guarantee himself a point and although Chisnall secured a consolation leg via D10, Lewis rounded-off a convincing victory with a clinical 86 kill culminating on D7.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Betway Premier League
Night Two – Thursday February 9
Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
Adrian Lewis 7-2 Dave Chisnall
James Wade 6-6 Phil Taylor
Jelle Klaasen 3-7 Gary Anderson
Peter Wright 3-7 Michael van Gerwen
Kim Huybrechts 6-6 Raymond van Barneveld