Betfair World Cup of Darts - Quarter-Finals
ENGLAND EDGE OUT JAPAN AS WALES, BELGIUM & FINLAND REACH BETFAIR WORLD CUP OF DARTS SEMI-FINALS
ENGLAND'S Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis remain on course to retain their Betfair World Cup of Darts title despite a scare against Japan on Sunday afternoon, as Belgium, Finland and Wales joined them in the semi-finals in Hamburg.
The reigning champions found themselves in danger of crashing out of the £150,000 event despite a superb individual performance from Taylor, who averaged 107.83 in his 4-1 Singles victory over Haruki Muramatsu.
Japan's Sho Katsumi then defeated Lewis 4-3 in their Singles tie to force a decisive Doubles contest, which the Japanese pair then led 2-0 to threaten a huge upset.
Taylor, though, took out 84 and 160 to level for England before they won the next two legs to move into the last four.
"It was a tough game so we're obviously relieved to be through because Japan played very well and you can see how their confidence has grown throughout the weekend," admitted Taylor.
"We're in the semis now and we know what we have to do to lift the title tonight. Playing Wales, who we know a bit better, makes it easier because we know the size of the task."
Lewis admitted: "I felt like I'd let Phil down when I lost the Singles game and I didn't perform, but his 160 was a massive shot and it took a weight off my shoulders. It's great to be in the semis and I'd love to lift the title again."
Wales, the 2010 finalists, continued their superb World Cup of Darts record by reaching the semi-finals in Hamburg for a second successive year in another exciting contest, as they edged out Spain in a Doubles decider.
Mark Webster edged a 4-3 win over Antonio Alcinas, who missed five darts to win the deciding leg of their Singles clash, before Carlos Rodriguez defied a 156 finish from Richie Burnett before holding his nerve to win their contest 4-3.
Spain led 2-1 in the Doubles clash, but Webster hit the winning double in the next three legs as he led Wales into the last four.
"It was a battle and there was no great pattern to the performance, but hopefully we can kick on this evening in the semi-finals," said left-hander Webster. "We're doing enough in each of the games to beat the opposition in front of us.
"It would be great to go all the way and win the title this year, and we're in the semi-finals now so there's no reason why we can't win it - but it will be tough."
Belgian brothers Kim and Ronny Huybrechts, meanwhile, wasted little time in securing their semi-final spot with two Singles victories in their tie with Croatia.
Kim Huybrechts set the tone with a strong display to defeat Tonci Restovic 4-2 -despite the Croatian hitting finishes of 97 and 104 - before older brother Ronny saw off Robert Marijanovic 4-1 to book their semi-final spot.
"It's the best feeling for me to be in the semi-finals of the World Cup playing alongside my brother," said Kim, with the pair continuing their challenge for a victory in memory of their late father Ludo, who passed away in December.
"We know we'll have to be better in the semi-finals if we're going to go on from here, but even though this was 2-0 it was never easy because Robert and Tonci have had a fantastic tournament."
They will now meet Finland, whose impressive challenge continued with a dramatic Doubles win over host nation Germany, after they also knocked out 2010 champions Netherlands on Saturday night.
Jyhan Artut got the Germans off to a flying start in their quarter-final tie by hitting finishes of 106 and 102 in his 4-1 win over Jani Haavisto, but Jarkko Komula defeated Andree Welge 4-2 to ensure a Doubles decider.
Finland led 3-1 only to miss a host of match darts in the next two legs as Germany forced a deciding leg, in which Komula hit a 180 and Haavisto - who won a PDC Tour Card at Qualifying School a fortnight ago - landed the key double eight.
"It's really exciting for us to be in the semi-finals and it felt great to finally get the winning double," said Haavisto. "To beat Holland on Saturday night was a surprise but it was great, and to win again is amazing.
"The crowd were behind Germany and that made it hard, but now that we're in the semi-finals anything can happen."
The semi-finals and final will be held in Sunday evening's decisive session, with a £40,000 first prize on offer for the winning team alongside the honour of being crowned Betfair World Cup of Darts champions.
The semi-finals will adopt the same format as the quarter-finals, with two best of seven leg Singles games being played and a Doubles game to follow if the nations share the Singles wins.The final will also see the introduction of Reverse Singles to mean all four players will meet, with a Doubles game also potentially being played to decide the destiny of the title.
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Betfair World Cup of Darts
2pm-6pm Local Time (1pm-5pm UK Time)
Belgium 2-0 Croatia
Spain 1-2 Wales
England 2-1 Japan
Finland 2-1 Germany
The Quarter-Finals will be played as two best of seven leg 501 Singles matches, with both nations nominating the order in which their players play. In the event of both nations winning one Singles match apiece, a best of seven leg 501 Doubles match will be played to decide the tie.
8pm-11pm Local Time (7pm-10pm UK Time)
Order of Play
Finland v Belgium
England v Wales
Belgium v Croatia
Kim & Ronny Huybrechts v Robert Marijanovic & Tonci Restovic
|Singles 1||Kim Huybrechts||4-2||Tonci Restovic|
|Singles 2||Ronny Huybrechts||4-1||Robert Marijanovic|
Croatia win the bull and will throw first in the opening Singles game and the Doubles game (if needed). Belgium will throw first in the second Singles game.
Kim Huybrechts v Tonci Restovic
0-1 - Restovic finishes 97 in two darts to win the opener.
1-1 - Huybrechts takes out 64 on double eight to level.
2-1 - Double 16 sees Huybrechts break throw to lead.
3-1 - Huybrechts lands tops to move a leg away from victory.
3-2 - Restovic finishes 104 on tops to keep alive his hopes.
4-2 - Huybrechts lands double 11 to seal victory in the opening Singles game.
Ronny Huybrechts v Robert Marijanovic
1-0 - Ronny, the older of the Huybrechts brothers, lands double 16 to take the opening leg.
1-1 - Huybrechts misses double 16 and Marijanovic steps in on tops to level.
2-1 - Huybrechts lands double ten to win the third leg.
3-1 - Both players miss doubles before Huybrechts lands double three to edge towards the win.
4-1 - Huybrechts misses the bull for a 122 finish, but further misses from Marijanovic allow him back to land double eight to put Belgium into the semi-finals.
Belgium win the tie 2-0 following the Singles games
Spain v Wales
Antonio Alcinas & Carlos Rodriguez v Mark Webster & Richie Burnett
|Singles 1||Antonio Alcinas||3-4||Mark Webster|
|Singles 2||Carlos Rodriguez||4-3||Richie Burnett|
Spain win the bull and will throw first in the opening Singles game and the Doubles game (if needed). Wales will throw first in the second Singles game.
Antonio Alcinas v Mark Webster
0-1 - Webster lands double ten to break in the opening leg.
1-1 - Alcinas hits a 180 to leave 77, and after both players miss doubles the Spaniard lands double two to level.
2-1 - Alcinas, needing 80, hits a five with his first dart but returns to land outer bull and the bullseye to lead.
2-2 - Alcinas misses the bull for a 126 finish and Webster takes out 102 on tops.
3-2 - Alcinas posts double 12 to move a leg away from the win.
3-3 - Webster takes out 94 on tops to force a deciding leg with a 14-darter.
3-4 - Alcinas hits two 140s to be first to a finish, but misses four match darts at double top, ten and five to allow Webster in to finish 76 on tops for the win.
Carlos Rodriguez v Richie Burnett
1-0 - Rodriguez hits a 180, and is given a reprieve from two misses at double 16 when Burnett is off-target on double 12 for a 98 finish, and the Spaniard pins double 16 at the third time of asking to lead.
1-1 - Burnett posts a 180 of his own, and the roles are reversed as Burnett initially misses two darts at double 18 only for Rodriguez to be unable to land tops for a 104 finish as the Welshman levels on double nine.
2-1 - Rodriguez lands his second maximum of the game, and when Burnett misses double 12 and two darts at double six, the Spanish ace finishes 65 on tops.
3-1 - Double three puts Rodriguez a leg away from the win.
3-2 - Burnett finishes double 16 to win the fifth leg and threaten a comeback.
3-3 - Burnett takes out a brilliant 156 checkout to level and force a decider - with Rodriguez failing to set up a double with six darts from 170.
4-3 - Rodriguez produces a superb deciding leg, leaving 40 after 12 darts before posting tops for a 14-darter to send the tie into a decisive Doubles contest.
Spain v Wales (Doubles)
1-0 - Rodriguez finishes 96 on double 18 to give Spain the opening leg.
1-1 - Webster misses double five for a 130 finish, but Burnett steps in to hit the bed to level for Wales.
2-1 - Alcinas finishes 70 on tops to give the Spanish leg three.
2-2 - Burnett lands a 180 to leave 28, and Webster pins double 14 to level again.
2-3 - Rodriguez misses double 19 and Alcinas misses two darts at double eight, and Webster steps in to post double ten - with Burnett unable to watch following one miss at tops earlier in the leg.
2-4 - Webster takes out 48 on double 16 to put Wales into the semi-finals.
Wales win the tie 3-1 following the Doubles game
England v Japan
Phil Taylor & Adrian Lewis v Haruki Muramatsu & Sho Katsumi
|Singles 1||Phil Taylor||4-1||Haruki Muramatsu|
|Singles 2||Adrian Lewis||3-4||Sho Katsumi|
England win the bull and will throw first in the opening Singles game and the Doubles game (if needed). Japan will throw first in the second Singles game.
Phil Taylor v Haruki Muramatsu
0-1 - Muramatsu lands a 180 and, when Taylor misses the bull to finish 90, the Japanese ace hits double top for a 14-darter.
1-1 - Muramatsu misses tops for a 112 finish, and Taylor lands double 16 to level.
2-1 - Taylor finishes 68 on double 16 to hit the front.
3-1 - Taylor hits a 174 in bring first to a finish, and lands double 18.
4-1 - Muramatsu hits a 180 to leave 81, but Taylor secures victory with a sensational 167 checkout!
Both players end the game with ton-plus averages, with Taylor at 107.83 and Muramatsu at 100.06.
Adrian Lewis v Sho Katsumi
0-1 - Katsumi wins the opening leg by finishing double ten.
1-1 - Lewis levels by taking out 88 on double 14.
1-2 - Katsumi regains the lead by posting double 18 with his fourth dart for the leg.
2-2 - Katsumi misses double ten for a 140 finish, and Lewis levels again, this time hitting tops.
3-2 - Lewis lands double eight to move a leg away from the win.
3-3 - Katsumi opens with a 180, and although he misses tops initially, the Japanese ace returns to force a deciding leg.
3-4 - Katsumi gets the first chance at a finish, but misses tops for a 120 checkout only for Lewis to miss two match darts and allow him back in on double ten to force a Doubles decider.
England v Japan
0-1 - Taylor misses three darts to win the opening leg, and Muramatsu steps in to take out 60 to break throw for Japan.
0-2 - Japan double their advantage by taking out 40.
1-2 - Taylor takes out 84 to get England off the mark.
2-2 - Taylor levels the contest by producing a superb 160 finish.
3-2 - Katsumi lands a 180, but Taylor finishes 50 to put England ahead on double 16.
4-2 - Lewis posts a 180, and Taylor finishes 32 to put England into the semi-finals.
Finland v Germany
Jani Haavisto & Jarkko Komula v Jyhan Artut & Andree Welge
|Singles 1||Jani Haavisto||1-4||Jyhan Artut|
|Singles 2||Jarkko Komula||4-2||Andree Welge|
Finland win the bull and will throw first in the opening Singles game and the Doubles game (if needed). Germany will throw first in the second Singles game.
Jani Haavisto v Jyhan Artut
0-1 - Artut delights the German crowd with a 180 as he takes the opening leg in 14 darts with a 68 finish.
0-2 - The German lands a second 14-darter by finishing 16.
0-3 - Artut takes out 106 for a 15-dart finish to move three legs up.
1-3 - Haavisto takes out 36 to get off the mark.
1-4 - Artut opens with a 180, and seals victory with a fine 102 checkout.
Jarkko Komula v Andree Welge
1-0 - Komula finishes 20 to take the opening leg.
1-1 - Welge levels by landing double 16.
1-2 - Welge wins the third to move ahead.
2-2 - Komula finishes 81 on double 12 to level.
3-2 - Welge misses the bull and two further doubles, and Komula steps in to move ahead.
4-2 - Komula finishes tops to win a third successive leg and send the game into a Doubles decider.
Finland v Germany
1-0 - Komula hits a 180 before Haavisto lands double ten for the opener.
2-0 - The Finns double their lead through a double one finish.
2-1 - Germany hit back to win a scrappy leg, with all four players missing doubles, including Komula at the bull for a 132 finish and Welge at the bull for a 170 checkout.
3-1 - Haavisto hits tops to put Finland a leg away from the semi-finals.
3-2 - Finland miss nine match darts as Artut eventually scrambles home double two to win a dramatic leg and keep Germany's hopes alive.
3-3 - Germany initally miss four darts to win the leg, but Haavisto misses three more match darts as Artut posts double two to force a decider.
4-3 - Both teams leave 127 after nine darts in the decider, with Komula posting a 180 only to then miss the bull for the match, but Welge cannot finish 127 and Haavisto posts double eight to win the tie and send Finland into the semis.