William Hill World Championship Semis

January 02 2016


REIGNING William Hill World Darts Champion Gary Anderson hit a nine-dart-finish on his way to a brilliant straight sets success over Jelle Klaasen to set up a repeat of the classic 2011 Alexandra Palace final against Adrian Lewis, who ended Raymond van Barneveld's hopes in Saturday's semi-finals.

Anderson reached his second successive World Championship final after a blistering performance in which he averaged over 107 as he continued his brilliant defence of the Sid Waddell Trophy, which he lifted 12 months ago.

The Scottish sensation, who has dropped just two sets on his way to the final, executed a perfect leg to clinch the first set and never looked back, reeling off six consecutive sets to move within one more win of successfully defending his title.

"On the nine-darter I thought to myself 'I'm not going to miss it this time'," said Anderson, who had wired double 12 after eight perfect darts in his quarter-final win over James Wade on the previous day.

"I played well, I'm feeling good and looking forward to a great final tomorrow. I'm ready for it and I'm enjoying this. I'm scoring well, my doubles are going well and I'm just one match away from winning it again."

Lewis looked like he was also coasting to a straight sets victory when he won the first five sets against van Barneveld in their race to six, despite a brace of 161 checkouts from the Dutch legend.

The five-time World Champion, who had come back from three sets down against Michael Smith to reach the last four, threatened an even more incredible fightback when he won three sets on the spin before Lewis finally closed out the victory with a crucial 83 finish to reach his third Ally Pally final.

"I was cruising at five sets up," said Lewis, the 2011 and 2012 World Champion who hit 15 180s in his semi-final triumph.

"I've never seen anything like Raymond's finishing under pressure. He was hitting me every time and I was under the cosh for the last four sets and I knew I had to win that last one. The 83 finish was massive.

"I think I'm good under pressure and I'm playing very well. This is the World Championship and I'm here to win it."

The semi-finals saw the end of Dutch hopes and van Barneveld's chance of winning a sixth World Championship title were put on hold after he failed to repeat comeback wins against Michael Smith, Michael van Gerwen and Stephen Bunting in previous rounds.

The Netherlands's most successful player hit two 161 checkouts in his gallant attempt at a comeback after a memorable run which will see him return to the top ten in the PDC Order of Merit after the tournament.

Sunday's final will see Anderson and Lewis battle for darts' most prestigious title for the second time, with a record first prize of £300,000 on offer for the winner alongside the iconic Sid Waddell Trophy.

Their 2011 final saw Lewis crowned as World Champion for the first time as he became the only player in the sport's history to hit a nine-dart-finish in a World Championship final - a record that still stands.

World number two Anderson is looking to repeat Lewis' feat of successfully defending his first World Championship glory - an achievement that has only ever been matched by two other players in five-time World Champions van Barneveld and Eric Bristow.

Anderson's semi-final nine-darter - achieved in front of a star-studded crowd which featured One Direction's Niall Horan, Ryder Cup golfer Jamie Donaldson and international footballers Andros Townsend and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar - sees him in line to claim the £15,000 bonus for a perfect leg, should Lewis not match the feat in the final to claim a share of the prize.

In addition, tournament sponsors William Hill will donate £9,000 to the PDC's official charity, the Donna Louise Children's Hospice in Stoke, following the nine-darter.

Anderson enters the final as the 1/2 favourite with William Hill, with Lewis the 7/4 outsider to complete his World Championship hat-trick, while a nine-dart finish in the final is a 5/1 bet.

Coverage of the final commences on the Sky Sports Darts channel at 6.30pm on Sunday, with play commencing at approximately 7pm.

William Hill World Darts Championship
Saturday January 2

Raymond van Barneveld 3-6 Adrian Lewis
Gary Anderson 6-0 Jelle Klaasen
Best of 11 Sets

Sunday January 3

Adrian Lewis v Gary Anderson
Best of 13 Sets
Please note: Sky Sports' coverage commences at 6.30pm, with play commencing at 7pm

The William Hill World Darts Championship will be screened live on the Sky Sports Darts channel, and worldwide through the following international broadcast partners.

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Raymond van Barneveld 3-6 Adrian Lewis

SET ONE: 0-3
Lewis pegged double five before his first 180 helped him break van Barneveld's throw. The Dutchman hit a maximum in the following leg but missed his chance to get off the mark and Lewis landed double one to take the first set.

SET TWO: 2-3
Lewis broke van Barneveld's throw with a brilliant 121 checkout and finished 54 to double his lead. Van Barneveld bedded double two to get on the board and then produced a sensational 161 finish to break, but Lewis took out 100 with the aid of two double tops in the following leg to double his lead in the match.

Lewis pinned double one, double five and double top as he increased his lead to three sets.

Van Barneveld took out 161 for the second time to complete a brilliant leg in which both players hit 180s. Lewis responded with a 12-darter, which he finished with a 116 checkout. The two-time World Champion then fired in six perfect darts but went on to lose the leg as his opponent cleaned up 56, but the Stoke ace levelled with another 12-darter before pinching the set on tops after hitting his eighth maximum.

Van Barneveld nailed double one to break but Lewis broke straight back before sinking tops in each of the next two legs to move within a set of victory.

SET SIX: 3-1
The Dutch legend moved ahead but Lewis took out 100, finishing with two double tops for the second time in the match, to level. Van Barneveld then landed his third 180 and pinned double eight before checking out 112 to avoid a straight sets defeat.

Van Barneveld pegged double ten in the opening leg to break and doubled his lead with the aid of his fourth 180, but Lewis' tenth maximum helped him pull a leg back. He then hit back-to-back 180s in the following leg as he completed an 11-darter to leave himself throwing for the match. Van Barneveld wasn't finished yet, though, as the Dutch great produced a sweet 134 checkout to pull back another set.

Back-to-back finishes of 117 and 100 gave van Barneveld a two-leg lead but Lewis broke back on tops and took out 91 after hitting his 14th 180. Five-time World Champion van Barneveld won the decider, scoring a 180 before bedding tops.

Lewis moved within a leg of the final with finishes of 96 and 20, adding his 15th 180 in the process, but van Barneveld hit back by landing double 16 after Lewis had missed a match dart. The number five seed got the job done, though, as he took out 83 to secure victory.

Match Stats
Raymond van Barneveld 3-6 Adrian Lewis
74 100+ 43
24 140+ 27
0 170+ 2
6 180 15
94.07 Average 99.55
161 High Finish 121
7 Breaks of Throw 11
15/39  38% Checkout % 23/64  36%

Gary Anderson 6-0 Jelle Klaasen
SET ONE: 3-0
Anderson took out 46 and landed double seven for 12 and 13-darters before completing the perfect leg to claim the set in style, hitting back-to-back 180s and a sensational 141 checkout to earn himself a £15,000 bonus with the tournament's first nine-darter.

SET TWO: 3-2
Klaasen got off the mark by finishing 22 before Anderson bedded tops. The Dutchman took out 72 to win a leg where both players hit 180s but Anderson hit back with a 96 finish. The defending champion grabbed a crucial break in the final leg with a clinical 80 finish.

Anderson threatened a second nine-darter with back-to-back maximums before eventually going out in 11 darts. The next four legs also went with the throw as Anderson brilliantly finished 142 to clinch the set.

Anderson took the first two legs before Klaasen restored parity with finishes of 84 and 81 but the Dutchman missed a dart for the set as was punished by the Scot, who pegged double ten to break and make it four straight sets.

Anderson defied 180s from his opponent in each of the first two legs to move 2-0 ahead before landing double six to move within a set of victory.

SET SIX: 3-1
Klaasen took the first leg but it was to be the last he would win as Anderson landed double five, double four and finished 48 to complete a brilliant triumph and move into his third Alexandra Palace final and his second in a row.

Gary Anderson 6-0 Jelle Klaasen
35 100+ 24
26 140+ 8
0 170+ 0
8 180 9
107.32 Average 94.68
142 High Finish 85
6 Breaks of Throw 1
18/38  47% Checkout % 7/20  35%


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