Dave Chisnall produced the performance of his darting life as he whitewashed Michael van Gerwen 5-0 to reach his first PDC World Championship semi-final and end the Dutchman’s hopes of capturing a fourth world title in 2021.
Chisnall came into the contest on a 27-match winless run against the world No 1 – a record dating back to February 2016. He had also failed to register a televised win over the Dutchman since October 2013, but he ended those unwanted records with an astonishing display at Alexandra Palace.
The St Helen’s star averaged 107.34, posted 14 maximums and missed double 12 for a spectacular nine-darter in set four, before wrapping up a sensational whitewash win and inflicting Van Gerwen’s heaviest World Championship defeat in the process.
Chizzy signalled his intent with a sensational first set performance, recovering from losing the opening leg by reeling off three consecutive legs in 11, 12 and 12 darts to draw first blood with a 112 average.
The five-time major finalist continued his charge to make it five legs on the spin, before defying a rally from Van Gerwen to edge a second set decider in 14 darts to double his lead.
The world No 8 kicked off set three with a fabulous 114 checkout and despite missing two at tops to claim it without reply, he extended his lead with a nerveless two-dart 86 combination, after Van Gerwen had fought back courtesy of a magnificent 150 finish.
Chisnall then wrapped up the fourth set in astonishing fashion, having missed double 12 for his second televised nine-darter. MvG was sat on 181 after six darts and he produced an incredible display of showmanship to hit the 141 combination Chizzy had missed tops, but it was to no avail.
The 40-year-old kept his cool to close out the leg in 11 darts, before sealing the deal in style, converting checkouts of 130, 87 and 80 to book a semi-final showdown against two-time world champion Gary Anderson – the man who’s accounted for him in his previous two Ally Pally quarter-finals.
“I’m so proud. I’ve put the effort in and it’s paying off. I’m playing really well,” Chisnall said. “Michael wasn’t playing his best and I got frustrated that I let him into a few of the sets that went down to deciders, but I felt really comfortable and I deserved to win.
“I’ve been under the radar for the last few years but I want this World Championship title and I know I am playing well enough to win it.”
Anderson advanced to his sixth PDC World Championship semi-final with a comprehensive 5-1 success against Dirk van Duijvenbode. The Dutchman made a promising start to secure the early initiative, but Anderson turned on the style, producing a vintage display to ease past the Aubergenius.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ posted his first ton-plus average in 19 World Championship matches – averaging 101.07, firing in six maximums and taking out two ton-plus finishes, including a sublime 131 checkout (T17, Tops, Tops) in set five.
“That was good. I think I’ve played better as the tournament has gone on,” reflected Anderson. “Dirk’s a cracking player so I’m pleased to get through. I think that might have been the best I’ve played for a couple of years and once it gets to the last four, it’s anybody’s tournament to win.”
Saturday’s opening semi-final will see Gerwyn Price lock horns with former BDO world champion Stephen Bunting, after the pair overcame Daryl Gurney and Krzysztof Ratajski respectively to reach the last four.
Price – who will become the world No 1 if he lifts the Sid Waddell Trophy on January 3 – came through a dramatic deciding-leg affair against Gurney, surviving a late onslaught from the Northern Irishman, who came back from 4-2 down to give the Welshman an enormous fright.
Price, who defeated Jamie Lewis in a deciding set in his opener, also survived a last-leg shootout against Gurney’s compatriot Brendan Dolan, but he defied 15 maximums from the two-time major winner in a breathless tussle, landing three ton-plus finishes en route to victory.
“I bombed a couple of sets where I missed loads of doubles. I was very lucky,” admitted Price. “At 4-2 up I had it in the bag but at four all I had to pull it out of the bag. I was up against it. I’ve certainly learned a big lesson tonight. I shouldn’t be complacent when I am 4-2 up.
“It must have been nerve-wracking for my wife and family to watch. Maybe I wanted it too much but I’m still in the tournament and I’m going to give it my all.”
Meanwhile, Bunting described his 5-3 triumph over Ratajski as the biggest win of his career, surviving a spirited fightback from ‘The Polish Eagle’ to reach his first ever PDC World Championship semi-final.’
‘The Bullet’ stormed into 3-0 and 4-1 leads before Ratajski rallied, but Bunting kept his cool to progress, averaging 101.01 and conjuring up four ton-plus finishes – including the fourth 170 outshot of this year’s event.
“This is the best win of my career. Getting to the semi-finals of the biggest tournament in the world is the best thing I’ve ever done. I’d love to win it,” said Bunting, who reached the quarter-finals on debut in 2015.
“It’s been a difficult run for me but I never give in, never say die and I’m dangerous. If I can keep my nerve I’ve got a great chance of winning it.”
Image Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
2020/21 William Hill World Darts Championship
Friday January 1
Stephen Bunting 5-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Gary Anderson 5-1 Dirk Van Duijvenbode
Gerwyn Price 5-4 Daryl Gurney
Dave Chisnall 5-0 Michael van Gerwen
Saturday January 2 (1800 GMT)
Stephen Bunting v Gerwyn Price
Dave Chisnall v Gary Anderson
Best of 11 sets