Dave Chisnall put himself back in play-off contention with stunning victories over Adrian Lewis and Phil Taylor on a dramatic night of darts in Belfast, as Michael van Gerwen extended his lead at the top of the table with victory over birthday-boy Raymond van Barneveld at the SSE Arena on Thursday evening.
Prior to tonight’s action, Chisnall’s last Premier League victory came in week five, when he defeated both Raymond van Barneveld and James Wade as he doubled up in the absence of Michael van Gerwen. The St Helen’s star repeated the double in Belfast, therefore four of his five league wins this seasons have incredibly come in two nights.
Chisnall began the evening with an emphatic 7-3 win over his Target stablemate Adrian Lewis. Chisnall was mightily impressive throughout; averaging 103.87, landing four maximums and converting 54% of his attempts at double, as Lewis was unable to build upon last week’s 9-dart heroics.
Chisnall drew first blood inside 15 darts after converting a 78 finish, before he doubled his tally after following up his first maximum with a 13-darter. Lewis’ average was languishing in the mid 70’s and ‘Chizzy’ continued the procession; crashing in back-to-back maximums en route to registering an 11-darter to establish a 3-0 cushion.
Lewis bust a 99 finish by hitting D15 in the fourth leg, but the two-time world champion recovered to complete the checkout via D16 to open his account. ‘Jackpot’ then kicked off the fifth leg with his second maximum, but Chisnall was throwing with real conviction and restored his three-leg lead with a clinical two-dart 96 kill.
Lewis was upping the ante in the scoring stakes and followed up his third maximum with a 13-darter, but breaking Chisnall’s throw was proving an unenviable task. ‘Jackpot’ wired the bull for an 81 finish and a potential 12-dart break and the St Helen’s star capitalised; sinking D16 for another 13-dart leg and a commanding 5-2 cushion.
Moments later, Chisnall guaranteed himself a share of the spoils; nervelessly dispatching a 76 outshot on tops after Lewis crucially missed a big number. The two-time world champion kept his hopes alive with a two-dart 70 combination after ‘Chizzy’ missed a match dart at bullseye, but this didn’t spark the start of a heroic fightback.
Chisnall left D18 after just 12 darts, but he almost wasn’t afforded a shot as Lewis wired the bullseye for the maximum 170 outshot. Chisnall failed to convert the opportunity, but ‘Jackpot’ then spurned a further two darts at D8, as the St Helen’s star eventually rounded-off victory on D1; Lewis left to rue his 25% checkout success rate.
‘Chizzy’ then maintained his fine form to dismantle Phil Taylor in the final game of the evening. ‘The Power’ appeared sluggish in the aftermath of his earlier clash against Gary Anderson and Chisnall took full advantage; averaging 104.72, crashing in two maximums and hitting 50% of his double attempts to prevail in emphatic fashion.
Chisnall kicked off proceedings by following up a fine visit of 174 with a 13-dart leg. Taylor fired straight back with a 14-darter, before ‘Chizzy’ regained the lead with a comfortable 14-dart hold of his own. ‘The Power’ was struggling in the scoring stakes and Chisnall took full advantage; clinching the first break of throw inside 13 darts.
Taylor had the chance to deliver an instant riposte but spurned three clear darts at double and the St Helen’s star gratefully capitalised; hitting D18 to secure his third leg on the spin. The 16-time world champion hit back with a vital two-dart 72 outshot, but Chisnall held his nerve to sink D4 and restore his three-leg lead moments later.
‘The Yellow Peril’ was performing superbly and refused to relent. He guaranteed himself a point by following up his second maximum with a classy 11-darter, before overcoming some late double-trouble to peg D4 and round-off a comprehensive victory, to depart Belfast with maximum points from his double-header.
However, earlier in the night, Taylor produced a remarkable comeback from 4-0 down to stun Gary Anderson; reeling off seven successive legs to triumph. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ stormed into a commanding lead, but Taylor manufactured a remarkable turnaround to prevail with a 104.38 average and a 47% checkout success rate.
The 16-time world champion seemed under serious threat of a whitewash defeat at one stage, but he showed his class to inflict a shock defeat on the world number two. Earlier in the contest, Anderson had made a blistering start; winning the opening two legs in just 25 darts.
Anderson then secured a precious double-break inside 15 darts after Taylor failed to take out 100, before the Scot clinched his fourth straight leg with an assured 14-dart hold on tops. ‘The Power’ appeared under threat of suffering the second Premier League whitewash of his career, before he suddenly conjured up an inspired fightback.
He opened his account with a 15-dart leg, before landing his second maximum and completing an 11-darter on D16 to reduce the deficit to 4-2. Taylor’s revival continued as he dispatched an 81 kill for a fine 12-dart hold, before restoring parity at four apiece via tops, after Anderson had wired the bullseye for a 129 outshot.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ was shell-shocked and Taylor clinched his fifth consecutive leg with a 15-darter, to secure the lead for the first time. The Stoke star then guaranteed himself a point with a classy 80 kill, before defying Anderson’s third maximum to pin D10 and round-off one of the most incredible comebacks in Premier League history.
Elsewhere, Michael van Gerwen showed no mercy to defeat Raymond van Barneveld on his 50th birthday. The legendary Dutchman enjoyed a rapturous reception from the Belfast crowd, but Van Gerwen averaged 103.09, landed two maximums and converted 47% of his attempts at double to record an impressive 7-2 victory.
MvG drew first blood on D4, before Van Barneveld levelled proceedings with a majestic 140 finish. ‘The Green Machine’ then regained the lead with a fabulous 11-darter, before Barney restored parity once more on tops. Nevertheless, the world number one then began to run riot.
Van Gerwen defied Van Barneveld’s second maximum to hold inside 15 darts, before defying boos from the partisan Belfast crowd to break throw on D10. The world champion then secured his third straight leg via D8, before taking out an exhibition 92 finish; culminating in successive D18’s, to secure a point.
Van Barneveld continued to battle away and posted three successive 140’s as he attempted to preserve his hopes, but it wasn’t to be for the five-time world champion. He missed the bullseye for a 12-dart break of throw, as Van Gerwen sank D8 to round-off a clinical display against the birthday-boy.
Finally, Peter Wright secured a crucial victory in his bid to reach the Premier League play-offs for the very first time. Snakebite was using a new set of darts and wasn’t at his vintage best; but he still ran out a convincing 7-3 victor after averaging 92.53, firing in two maximums and converting 44% of his attempts at double.
The first five legs all went with throw, with both players averaging in the mid 80’s. Nevertheless, Wright suddenly sparked into life in the sixth leg; following up his first maximum with a two-dart 76 kill to secure a break of throw inside 11 darts.
The UK Open champion then repeated the feat moments later; taking out 76 in two darts for his third straight leg and an emphatic 5-2 cushion. Wade then produced his best leg of the contest to stay in contention; following up three consecutive 140’s with an 81 checkout via D6 for a 12-darter.
However, ‘The Machine’ was unable to make further inroads as Wright closed out a hard-fought victory. Snakebite kicked off the ninth leg with his second maximum and pegged D6 to confirm a share of the spoils, before effortlessly dispatching an 81 kill to triumph with a 14-dart break of throw.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Betway Premier League
Night 12 – Thursday April 20
The SSE Arena, Belfast
Dave Chisnall 7-3 Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor 7-4 Gary Anderson
Peter Wright 7-3 James Wade
Michael van Gerwen 7-2 Raymond van Barneveld
Dave Chisnall 7-2 Phil Taylor
|Michael van Gerwen||12||8||3||1||+26||28||19|
|Raymond van Barneveld||13||6||2||5||+1||24||14|
|Jelle Klaasen (E)||9||1||1||7||-16||15||3|
|Kim Huybrechts (E)||9||0||3||6||-23||11||3|