World Matchplay - night five round-up
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN soared into the World Matchplay quarter-finals with a thrilling 13-3 win over Peter Wright on Wednesday, as Adrian Lewis, Andy Hamilton and Dave Chisnall joined him in the last eight in Blackpool.
Dutch ace van Gerwen, the world number two, hit the highest average of the tournament so far at 105.58 in a ruthless demolition of in-form Wright, twice setting up a potential nine-darter as he out-scored his opponent.
The Lowestoft man shared the opening four legs before van Gerwen took command of the game by winning five in a row to move 7-2 up, with the run book-ended by checkouts of 94 and 104.
Wright hit back with one of four 180s he would land in the game as a 96 finish won him a third leg, but van Gerwen reeled off the next six legs without reply - taking all in between 13 and 15 darts - to sweep into the last four.
"I'm so happy to be through to the quarter-finals," said van Gerwen. "Peter's a great player and you don't normally win by that scoreline against him, but I was really focused and I'm very happy with how I played.
"I played really well but I can still play better than this and I'm looking forward to the quarter-finals.
"I think there will be a nine-darter from someone this week and it would be great if I hit it, but the most important thing is winning matches and I did that again tonight."
van Gerwen now plays Dave Chisnall in Friday's quarter-finals, after the world number ten produced a hugely impressive performance to edge out Jamie Caven 13-10.
Chisnall hit five 180s as he took six of the game's opening eight legs to lead 6-2, only for Caven to hit back and move 10-7 up, taking out 109, an 11-darter and twice setting up a possible nine-darter with back-to-back maximums.
Chisnall, though, found a second wind and took the game's final six legs without reply as he booked his place in a first World Matchplay quarter-final.
"It was an exciting game and it's brilliant to be through," said Chisnall. "I felt comfortable early on but Jamie came back really strongly.
"It was a tense game, and it was only when I got to 12-10 that I felt I had Jamie, and I knew I had to finish it then.
"It's probably my best performance in a televised game and it shows again that I can play with the best and I'll try to do the same against Michael van Gerwen on Friday. We've never played on TV before and it should be a great match."
Recent European Champion Adrian Lewis was another big winner on Wednesday as he took a 13-5 win over Brendan Dolan.
Although Dolan won the game's opening leg, he was punished for a string of missed doubles as Lewis won the next ten without reply, with a 101 finish and a brilliant ten-dart leg being the highlights of the run.
Dolan took the next two to hit back, before Lewis hit a 13-darter and double nine to move to the brink of victory at 12-3.
Checkouts of 108 and 170 on the bullseye from the former World Grand Prix finalist saw him pull back to 12-5, but it was only delaying the inevitable as the world number two sealed his quarter-final place with an 11-dart leg.
"It's great to be through and I'm still in there fighting," said Lewis. "I handled the pace of the game well against Brendan and it was a good performance because you get nothing easily against him.
"It will be the same against Andy Hamilton in the quarter-finals because he's one of the most solid players in the game."
Hamilton, meanwhile, proved too strong in his all-Stoke battle with White, hitting six 180s and averaging over 96 in a consistent performance as he took a 13-7 win.
He broke throw with a 13-dart finish in the game's opening leg and added a 12-darter as he moved 2-0 up, and though White pulled back to trail 5-4 at one stage, Hamilton pulled clear in the second half of the game.
The UK Open finalist won eight of the next 11 legs as he moved into the last eight, continuing a record of reaching at least that stage in every televised ranking event for 12 months.
"It's great to be through to the quarter-finals but I want to take the next step now," said the number six seed.
"It's all well and good being a top-eight player and a regular quarter-finalist, but hopefully there's a trophy with my name on it waiting for me in the near future, maybe even this weekend.
"I'm really relaxed and I can't wait for the quarter-finals now because my game's in good shape; I was solid and consistent.
"I broke Ian early on and that was important because I always had the advantage, but I still had to stay focused and close out the win."
The quarter-finals begin on Thursday, as reigning and 13-time champion Phil Taylor plays Taunton's Justin Pipe, the number nine seed who is in the last eight for the second successive year.
2007 champion James Wade then takes on Simon Whitlock in a clash of the players ranked fourth and fifth in the world in the night's second contest at the Winter Gardens.
Wednesday July 23
Andy Hamilton (6) 13-7 Ian White
Adrian Lewis (3) 13-5 Brendan Dolan (14)
Michael van Gerwen (2) 13-3 Peter Wright
Jamie Caven 10-13 Dave Chisnall (10)
Thursday July 25 (7pm)
Phil Taylor (1) v Justin Pipe (9)
Simon Whitlock (5) v James Wade (4)
Friday July 26 (7pm)
Andy Hamilton (6) v Adrian Lewis (3)
Michael van Gerwen (2) v Caven/Chisnall
Quarter-Finals - Best of 31 legs
Andy Hamilton v Ian White
0-0 - Ian White wins the bull and throws first.
1-0 - Hamilton hits a 165 score to leave 40, and when White misses double 11 to take out 84, the world number six finishes tops for a 13-darter to break throw immediately.
2-0 - Hamilton doubles his lead with a superb 12-darter, taking out 90 on double 18.
2-1 - Hamilton misses two darts at double 18 to win a third successive leg, and White posts double 16 to get off the mark.
3-1 - Hamilton finishes 57 on tops to move two legs clear once more, maintaining an average of around 109.
3-2 - White hits back by landing double four.
4-2 - Hamilton finishes 107 on double 16 to win the sixth leg.
4-3 - White finishes tops to pull back a third leg.
5-3 - Hamilton hits a 180 and takes out 68 to move two legs clear again.
5-4 - Double 16 gives White his fourth leg.
6-4 - White hits a 180, but is unable to break as Hamilton takes the tenth leg.
7-4 - Hamilton hits a 180 and breaks throw on double ten to move three legs clear.
7-5 - The UK Open finalist lands his third 180 of the game, but misses double 16 for a 105 checkout, and White hits the same double to break for the first time.
8-5 - Hamilton breaks throw again, hitting double 18 with his third dart.
9-5 - Hamilton opens with 140 and 180 before winning the leg with a superb third-dart double ten - having had to edge along the oche after blocking the bed with his first two darts just outside the double wire.
9-6 - Double 16 sees White hit back to reduce the arrears.
10-6 - Hamilton finishes 82 with a bullseye, double 16 combination.
10-7 - White attempts the same checkout, initially missing double 16 and eight to take out 82 before returning to land double four.
11-7 - White fires in a 180, but Hamilton replies with two of his own before landing double eight for a 13-darter - although his opponent missed the bull to finish an 85 checkout himself.
12-7 - Hamilton moves a leg away from victory on double eight.
13-7 - White lands a maximum to leave 40, but Hamilton seals victory on tops.
Adrian Lewis v Brendan Dolan
0-0 - Brendan Dolan wins the bull and throws first.
0-1 - Lewis misses a dart to break throw in the opening leg, and Dolan finishes 96 to lead.
1-1 - Dolan misses two darts at double top to break, and Lewis finishes tops to level.
2-1 - Lewis hits a 180, and punishes five misses from Dolan at double 16 and eight by landing double five to move ahead.
3-1 - Lewis lands double ten to move two legs clear.
4-1 - The European Champion takes out 101 for another break of throw as he pulls clear at 4-1.
5-1 - Dolan misses a dart at tops, and Lewis lands double six to move four legs ahead.
6-1 - Five more misses from the Northern Irish ace take his total to 15 for the match, as Lewis steps in on double one.
7-1 - Dolan opens with a 180, but Lewis finishes 81 on double 13 to lead by six legs.
8-1 - Lewis takes out 81 again, this time on double 12, as he continues his charge.
9-1 - Lewis wins a ninth successive leg, posting double nine with his third dart at the bed.
10-1 - The world number three produces a brilliant ten-darter - the best of the event so far - as he hits a 180 and a 150 score before pinning double 16.
10-2 - Dolan misses the bullseye, but returns to hit double eight to win his first leg since the game's opener.
10-3 - With Lewis waiting on 40, Dolan takes out double 12 to win his third leg of the game.
11-3 - Both players open with 180s, and Lewis finishes tops for a 13-darter to move two legs away from the quarter-finals.
12-3 - Lewis finishes double nine to move to the brink of victory.
12-4 - Lewis misses double five for a 130 finish to take the win, and Dolan finishes 108 to stay in the game - hitting single one, treble 19 and the bull for an improvised combination.
12-5 - Dolan hits his third 180 of the game before taking out a 170 checkout to continue his revivial.
13-5 - Lewis scores 140, 137 and 180 before finishing tops for an 11-darter to seal his last eight spot.
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
0-0 - Michael van Gerwen wins the bull and throws first.
1-0 - van Gerwen takes the opening leg on double 16.
1-1 - The Dutchman lands a 174, but misses a dart at tops to punish Wright, who returns from two misses at double 16 to hit the bed and get off the mark.
2-1 - van Gerwen opens with a 180 and finishes tops to regain the edge.
2-2 - van Gerwen misses three darts at doubles to break Wright, and the Lowestoft ace returns on tops.
3-2 - Van Gerwen moves back in front by finishing 94 on double 16.
4-2 - van Gerwen opens with 180 and 177, and though he is unable to complete a second Blackpool nine-darter, he lands double 18 to break for the first time in the game.
5-2 - van Gerwen finishes 82 on tops to move three legs clear.
6-2 - Double 16 sees van Gerwen wins a fourth successive leg, and break throw again.
7-2 - Wright opens with 180 and 140, but van Gerwen takes out 104 to continue his charge.
7-3 - Wright opens with a 180, and when van Gerwen misses two darts at double 12, the Scot takes out 96 to hit back.
8-3 - van Gerwen again sets up a possible nine-darter with 180 and 177, again missing out on a perfect leg before punishing a miss from Wright - at the bull for a 170 finish - by taking out tops.
9-3 - Wright hits a 180, but misses tops and van Gerwen lands double 16 to break.
10-3 - Double 16 once again sees van Gerwen move into double figures for the game.
11-3 - van Gerwen breaks throw for a fourth time by landing tops.
12-3 - van Gerwen lands double 16 to move a leg away from victory.
13-3 - Wright hits a 180, with van Gerwen then missing the bull for a 170 finish to take victory before returning to finish double eight.
Jamie Caven v Dave Chisnall
0-0 - Jamie Caven wins the bull and throws first.
0-1 - Chisnall lands a 180 and breaks on tops to wi the opening leg.
0-2 - The St Helens ace again hits tops as he doubles his lead.
1-2 - Chisnall lands another maximum, but Caven gets off the mark on tops.
2-2 - Caven opens with two 180s to set up a possible nine-darter, missing out on the 141 finish - with Chisnall landing a 180 of his own but missing the bull and two darts at double eight to allow the Derby flier in on double five to level.
2-3 - Chisnall lands a 180 and capitalises on double eight when Caven fails to set up a double when needing 50.
2-4 - Chisnall opens with a 180 and takes out 81 on double 12 to move two legs clear again.
2-5 - Chisnall breaks with an 86 finish.
2-6 - Double four sees the number ten seed move four legs clear.
3-6 - Caven lands double eight to win his first leg in five.
4-6 - Caven opens with a 177 before Chisnall later hits a 174 score to set up 32 - but he can only watch on as Caven finishes 109 on double 16.
5-6 - Chisnall is unable to finish 83, and Caven lands double 13 with his third dart to take a third successive leg.
5-7 - Chisnall posts back-to-back 180s and finishes tops for a 14-darter to regain his cushion.
6-7 - Caven finishes tops to win his sixth leg of the game.
7-7 - The Derby ace throws back-to-back 180s to set up a possible nine-darter for a second time in the game, and although a perfect leg goes begging once again on his seventh dart, he returns to finish tops for an 11-darter to level the game.
8-7 - Chisnall misses tops for a 79 finish, and Caven makes him pay by hitting the same bed to complete a 72 combination as he moves ahead for the first time.
9-7 - Caven hits a 180 and finishes 82 on tops to move two legs clear.
10-7 - The pair trade 180s, with Caven missing the bull for an 89 finish only to return after Chisnall misses tops, and double eight gives the Derby man a three-leg cushion.
10-8 - Chisnall hits back by finishing double ten.
10-9 - Caven opens with a 180, but is unable to capitalise on two missed doubles from Chisnall when he is off-target on double 12 and six, allowing the number ten seed to finish double four to pull back to within a leg.
10-10 - Chisnall holds his nerve to level by hitting double three.
10-11 - Chisnall initially misses five doubles to win the leg, but Caven misses three of his own across two visits - at double top, ten and five - to allow his opponent back to regain the lead on double eight.
10-12 - Chisnall takes out 116 on double 18 to move a leg away from victory with a fifth straight leg.
10-13 - The pair trade 180s, and Chisnall seals a brilliant win with double 13 for an 81 finish.