Zong denies Han in a thriller to retain PDC China Premier League title

Xiaochen Zong (PDC)

Xiaochen Zong edged out Xicheng Han in a last-leg decider to retain the PDC China Premier League title on Sunday.

Zong maintained his dominance of the domestic circuit in this year's league phase, winning each of the last three league nights over the course of the weekend to top the table ahead of Sunday's Play-Offs.

The 25-year-old then followed up a semi-final victory over Bin Zheng with a dramatic win over Han in Sunday’s showpiece to triumph in round two of the 2023 Premier League.

However, Zong was forced to recover from 4-0 down to prevail in a thrilling finale, fending off a late fightback from Han to scoop the $1,500 top prize and secure his qualification for the 2023/24 World Darts Championship.

Zong defied a profligate start to level at four apiece, following up a 108 combination with back-to-back 12-darters during a terrific three-leg spell.

Han regained the initiative to lead 7-6, although Zong produced another devastating four-leg burst to move to the cusp of victory, firing in a brace of 11-darters and a 13-darter to move 10-7 ahead.

The pendulum swung once again as Han responded with a run of three straight legs to force a decider, only for Zong to produce his third 11-darter of the contest to wrap up victory in style.

Zong – a winner of two PDC Asian Tour titles in 2023 – had breezed to a 10-3 victory over Zheng in the semi-finals; landing four 180s and producing two ton-plus checkouts in the process.

Han, meanwhile, impressed in his 10-6 success against Zong’s World Cup partner Lihao Wen, producing a superb display of scoring which featured twenty scores of 140+.

However, Han was unable to book an immediate return to Alexandra Palace, as Zong prepares to make his third appearance in the sport’s flagship event in December.

2023 PDC China Premier League
Sunday August 27

Xiaochen Zong 10-3 Bin Zheng
Xicheng Han 10-6 Lihao Wen

Xiaochen Zong 11-10 Xicheng Han