Premier League Darts - Night One Round-Up
Gary Anderson kicked off the new Premier League season with a dramatic 7-5 win over Phil Taylor in front of an amazing 11,200 fans in Leeds on Thursday night, as Adrian Lewis lit up the tournament with a 113.80 average in a stunning defeat of Raymond van Barneveld.
World Champion Anderson repeated his success over Taylor at Alexandra Palace over the shorter Premier League format, although the game also went the distance as the Scot opened the season in style.
Taylor ended the game with the higher average, but paid for missing double top to snatch a draw in the deciding leg - which added to one earlier missed double to break Anderson's throw as the six-time Premier League winner fell to a narrow loss.
"I'm delighted to have got the win," said Anderson. "I was looking at a draw going into the final leg but I managed to pinch it and it's a bonus for me.
"Maybe it was a bit of a steal in the end but that wasn't the real Phil tonight and I took advantage. Hopefully I will play better next week but this is a good start."
World number four Adrian Lewis - the 2011 Premier League runner-up - made a sensational start to the season with his highest-ever average in a televised game as he overcame reigning champion van Barneveld 7-1.
Lewis had lost to the Dutchman in the World Championship just over a month ago, but was in sublime form to kick off the season with the fourth highest average in Premier League history.
"When I lost to Raymond in the World Championship I missed too many doubles and let him in, and I've been thinking about that game every day since," admitted Lewis.
"I knew I was in great form and I've shown it tonight, and a 7-1 win for me is a great start to the season. There was a quality atmosphere from the moment we walked out, and it gave me a great feeling."
2013 Premier League champion Michael van Gerwen raced to a 7-3 win over Kim Huybrechts as he averaged an impressive 107.72 against the Belgian debutant to follow up last weekend's Masters win with another classy display.
Van Gerwen took an early 3-1 lead, and though Huybrechts reduced the gap to one leg it was the Dutchman who took three legs in a row in mid-game to pull clear before sealing victory with a 145 checkout.
"To win 7-3 in my first game of the Premier League is very good and I played quite well," said van Gerwen. "I didn't expect to play this well but I'm very happy with my form, and I finished well at the right time,
"It was Kim's debut and it was difficult for him, but when you're on this stage you need to be prepared for everything. He's a good player and he'll be back.
"The crowd were amazing and I had goosebumps. That makes you feel incredible and it means a lot to me, and I think it made me play better.
"I want to keep this form for the rest of the Premier League. I hope I can win this tournament again, but there's a long way to go in the season, and you just need to try and play well every week - but I'm enjoying myself."
Dave Chisnall reeled off six successive legs as he swept to a 7-1 win over Peter Wright, with the St Helens ace producing the heavier scoring and clinical finishing as he took victory in the season's opening fixture.
"I'm delighted," said Chisnall. "Peter didn't play as well as he can but I outscored him and my finishing was good and I was happy with that.
"The atmosphere was fantastic but I wasn't nervous. It's a brilliant venue and I had goosebumps everywhere!"
The night's other game saw debutant Stephen Bunting hit back from 6-4 down to grab a draw with 2009 Premier League champion James Wade, who took a point on his return to the event.
Wade twice led by two legs - at 3-1 and 6-4 - but saw Bunting hit back on both occasions before the newcomer finished double four and 68 in the last two legs to share the spoils.
"It was the most nervous I've ever been in the Premier League but I loved every minute of it," said Wade following his Premier League return.
"I thought Stephen was going to steamroller me at the beginning but I hung in there, hit a few scores and towards the end I thought I was going to win.
"Perhaps we show each other too much and maybe it was hard to close out the game, but a draw could have been a much worse start for me."
Former Lakeside Champion Bunting admitted: "It feels like a win for me to be honest. James is a fantastic player and I always know I'm in for a tough match when I play him, so I'm happy to get a point on the board.
"The venue was absolutely amazing - the biggest crowd I've ever played in front of before was about 4,000 in Sydney, so it's fantastic to play in front of a crowd like that and I can't wait for the rest of the Premier League now."
The £700,000 tournament continues with Week Two at the BIC in Bournemouth next Thursday, with the games including the all-Stoke clash between Taylor and Lewis and van Gerwen's meeting with Bunting.
Night One, Thursday February 5
First Direct Arena, Leeds
Dave Chisnall 7-1 Peter Wright
Raymond van Barneveld 1-7 Adrian Lewis
Kim Huybrechts 3-7 Michael van Gerwen
Gary Anderson 7-5 Phil Taylor
Stephen Bunting 6-6 James Wade
Dave Chisnall v Peter Wright
1-0 - Chisnall holds throw to win the opening leg of the new season.
1-1 - Wright lands a 180 before hitting double top to level.
2-1 - Chisnall finishes 24 to move back ahead.
3-1 - Chisnall posts a 180 before breaking throw on double five.
4-1 - Chisnall suffers double trouble, but has enough cushion to take the leg on double one.
5-1 - Chisnall finishes 82 on double eight for another break of throw and a fourth successive leg.
6-1 - Wright fires home his second 180, but Chisnall finishes 100 on tops to ensure at least a point from the game.
7-1 - Chisnall completes victory in style with an 87 finish for an 11-darter.
Raymond van Barneveld v Adrian Lewis
0-1 - van Barneveld misses two darts at doubles, allowing Lewis in to finish tops for the opening leg.
0-2 - van Barneveld opens with a 180, but Lewis replies with a maximum before finishing 97 for an 11-darter.
1-2 - Lewis kicks off the leg with a maximum, but misses the bull to finish 127 to allow the Dutchman in to take out double 16.
1-3 - Lewis again opens with a 180, and double eight sees him regain his cushion.
1-4 - Lewis lands tops to move three legs clear of his rival.
1-5 - The Stoke star opens with another maximum as he hits five perfect treble 20s, before taking the leg on tops - maintaining his average at 111.
1-6 - Lewis secures a minimum of a point by taking out 138 on double nine.
1-7 - Lewis fires in yet another maximum before finishing 47 for another 11-darter, completing a brilliant win with a 113.80 average - his highest in a televised game and the fourth highest in Premier League history.
Kim Huybrechts v Michael van Gerwen
0-1 - Double ten sees van Gerwen break in the opening leg.
0-2 - Huybrechts misses double 12 to break back as van Gerwen returns on double six to move two legs up.
1-2 - Double ten sees Huybrechts get off the mark.
1-3 - van Gerwen holds throw to regain his two-leg cushion.
2-3 - A 78 finish for Huybrechts sees the Belgian hit back.
2-4 - van Gerwen finishes 82 with a bullseye, double 16 combination.
2-5 - Huybrechts misses three darts at doubles 16 and eight, and van Gerwen capitalises by finishing 79 on double 11.
2-6 - The world number one finishes 87 for an 11-darter to secure a minimum of a draw.
3-6 - Double six sees Huybrechts win his third leg of the game, keeping alive his hopes of grabbing a point.
3-7 - van Gerwen opens with a 180 before sealing a brilliant victory with a 145 finish, ending with a 107.72 average.
Gary Anderson v Phil Taylor
1-0 - Double ten gives Anderson the opening leg.
1-1 - Taylor levels by finishing 82 on tops.
2-1 - Anderson misses two darts at double top, but returns to pin double five to move back ahead.
2-2 - Taylor lands a 180 before double eight levels.
3-2 - Anderson finishes double ten once more as he edges back ahead.
3-3 - Anderson misses his chance to break, and Taylor finishes double 15 to square the game.
4-3 - Taylor lands two 180s in the leg, but Anderson finishes the bull for a 12-darter to move back in front.
4-4 - Taylor finishes double 16 for a 13-darter to hit back.
5-4 - Anderson lands a 180 but gives Taylor a chance to break on a 145 finish - but the 16-time World Champion misses double 14 to complete the combination, and the Scot returns on double six.
5-5 - Taylor lands a 174 score before finishing double 16 to continue the tight affair.
6-5 - Anderson seals at least a point by finishing double top with his third dart.
7-5 - Anderson opens with a 180 but looks to have blown his chance for the match with a missed double nine for a 138 finish - but Taylor misses tops to secure a draw, allowing his rival back in on double four to seal victory.
Stephen Bunting v James Wade
1-0 - Bunting misses the bull for a 170 finish, but settles any debut nerves on double eight.
1-1 - Bunting lands a 180 but is denied the chance to break throw by a 101 finish from Wade.
1-2 - Wade misses the bull to finish 121, but Bunting misses three darts at doubles as the former champion returns to break on double ten.
1-3 - Bunting's misses are punished as Wade moves two legs clear.
2-3 - Bunting fires in a 177 before finishing double 16 to hit back.
3-3 - Bunting levels with a break of throw in a fine leg, scoring 171 to leave 94 before taking out the combination on double six.
4-3 - Tops moves Bunting back ahead.
4-4 - Bunting opens with a 180 and lands a 171, only to miss three darts at double four as Wade returns on double ten to level.
4-5 - Bunting misses double 11 for a 142 finish, and Wade breaks on tops to move himself back into the lead.
4-6 - Wade seals a minimum of a point on double ten, after the pair trade 180s.
5-6 - Bunting posts another 171 score, and needs the cushion as he returns from six missed doubles on double four to take the game into a deciding leg.
6-6 - Bunting finishes 68 to snatch a point on double 16 with his second break of throw of the game.