Adrian Lewis’ play-off hopes were dealt a real blow as he suffered a whitewash defeat at the hands of Michael van Gerwen in a miserable double-header in Birmingham, as Peter Wright secured a place in the play-offs for the first time, on a dramatic night of action at the Barclaycard Arena on Thursday evening.
Michael van Gerwen secured the third Premier League whitewash of his career to deal Adrian Lewis’ play-off hopes a major blow. MvG averaged 110.75, landed three maximums and converted 70% of his attempts at double to triumph in comprehensive fashion; condemning Lewis to his second defeat of the night in Birmingham.
Earlier in the night, Lewis’ play-off hopes were dealt a real blow after he was edged out by James Wade in a scrappy affair. The contest was locked at four apiece at one stage, but the two-time world champion was punished for converting just 25% of his double attempts, as ‘The Machine’ prevailed 7-4 with a 93.74 average and 53% on the doubles.
The opening two legs went against throw, before Wade secured the first hold of throw with a clean 70 kill. Lewis picked out tops to level, before ‘The Machine’ continued his flawless finishing to regain the lead with a 66 checkout. However, Lewis struck back instantly and produced a fine 73 outshot to restore parity at three apiece.
Wade dispatched a nerveless 100 checkout to hit the front once more, but there was little to choose between the pair as ‘Jackpot’ sank D5 to register the sixth successive hold of throw. All signs were pointing towards a stalemate, but in almost identical fashion to their meeting earlier in the season, Wade reeled off three straight legs to triumph.
The decisive moment came in the ninth leg, as Lewis spurned four darts at double for a precious break of throw. Wade capitalised by hitting D10, before exploiting further missed doubles from the Stoke star to take out 74 and guarantee himself a point.
Lewis was becoming visibly frustrated with his doubling profligacy and the eight-time major winner gratefully took advantage. ‘Jackpot’ missed D11 for a 124 finish which would have forced a deciding leg and Wade pounced; pinning tops to round-off a hard-fought victory.
Meanwhile, Van Gerwen survived three match darts in his opening match of the night, as he recovered from 6-3 down to salvage a point against Dave Chisnall. Chisnall relinquished similar leads against Peter Wright and Gary Anderson in recent weeks and the St Helen’s ace was left was frustrated as history repeated itself in Birmingham.
Chisnall drew first blood via D8, before firing in his opening maximum to threaten Van Gerwen’s throw. ‘The Green Machine’ held his nerve to level with a clean 84 kill, before ‘Chizzy’ completed a 14-dart leg to regain the lead. However, the world champion delivered an instant riposte; dispatching an 87 kill to level the tie at two apiece.
The St Helen’s star pegged tops for the fifth consecutive hold of throw, before punishing a multitude of missed doubles from ‘Mighty Mike’ in successive legs to establish a 5-2 advantage. Van Gerwen eventually pinned D2 to arrest his slumber, but Chisnall responded by hitting D1 in the following leg to guarantee himself a point.
MvG stayed alive with a 14-darter, before capitalising on three missed match darts from ‘Chizzy’ to force a decider via D17. Chisnall relinquished a 6-3 advantage against Peter Wright three weeks ago and history repeated itself, as Van Gerwen completed the comeback by following up his third maximum with a 13-darter on D4.
Nevertheless, Van Gerwen required no such fortune against ‘Jackpot’. He won the opening two legs inside 26 darts after landing two maximums and visits of 171 and a 174. The world number one then established a 3-0 lead with a 93 finish and an 11-darter, before capitalising on missed doubles from Lewis to pin D10 for his fourth straight leg.
‘Jackpot’ was desperate to open his account, but he spurned one dart at D6 for a 126 kill, as the imperious MvG sank D8 for a 14-dart leg and a 5-0 lead. Van Gerwen’s magnificent finishing continued as he completed a two-dart 72 kill to guarantee himself a share of the spoils, before he rounded off the whitewash with a fine 14-darter via D7.
Gary Anderson secured a big victory in push for the play-offs; reeling off three consecutive legs to defeat Raymond van Barneveld in a high-quality contest. Barney averaged 101.98 but was left to rue three missed darts at double in the ninth leg, as Anderson prevailed 7-4 with a 105.47 average and a 54% checkout success rate.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ made a blistering start to the contest; winning the opening two legs with consecutive 13-darters. Van Barneveld then missed tops for a 105 checkout as Anderson secured his third straight leg via D5, but the legendary Dutchman opened his account after pegging the bullseye to complete an 85 kill.
Anderson then restored his three-leg cushion by conjuring up a majestic 161 finish, but Van Barneveld responded superbly to fightback. The five-time world champion found D8 having missed the bull for a 161 kill of his own earlier in the leg, before he followed up a stunning visit of 177 by pinning D10 to reduce the arrears to 4-3.
Van Barneveld was starting to flow and levelled up the tussle with a clinical two-dart 64 kill, but he was then left to rue three missed darts for a fourth straight leg and a break of throw as Anderson escaped with a hold via D8. This galvanised the Scot and he won the remaining two legs with successive 13-darters to clinch a crucial two points.
Peter Wright secured qualification for the Premier League play-offs for the first time, after recording an impressive 7-3 victory over Phil Taylor. It wasn’t a vintage display from either man, but some clinical finishing from Snakebite paid dividends, as Taylor’s play-off aspirations remain in the balance.
‘The Power’ drew first blood after following up an early maximum with a 15-darter via D16, but Wright found the same target moments later to level inside 14 darts. Taylor then recorded the third successive hold with an assured two-dart 93 combination, before Wright reeled off five legs in succession to seize total control of the contest.
The world number three levelled the contest with another 14-darter, before converting finishes of 104 and 116 in successive legs to establish a 4-2 advantage. Wright’s clinical finishing then continued in the seventh leg, as he followed up his two ton-plus checkouts by dispatching a 96 outshot for a double break of throw.
The 16-time world champion was matching Wright in the scoring stakes, but Snakebite’s impeccable finishing was the decisive factor. The Scot confirmed himself a share of the spoils with a 13-dart hold, and although Taylor stayed alive on D4 after Wright missed four match darts for a 7-2 win, Snakebite responded by taking out 78 on D12 to triumph.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Betway Premier League
Night 13 – Thursday April 27
Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
James Wade 7-4 Adrian Lewis
Dave Chisnall 6-6 Michael van Gerwen
Phil Taylor 3-7 Peter Wright
Gary Anderson 7-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis 0-7 Michael van Gerwen
|Michael van Gerwen (Q)||14||9||4||1||+33||33||22|
|Peter Wright (Q)||14||8||3||3||+19||25||19|
|Raymond van Barneveld||14||6||2||6||-2||25||14|
|Jelle Klaasen (E)||9||1||1||7||-16||15||3|
|Kim Huybrechts (E)||9||0||3||6||-23||11||3|
After Night 13