Premier League Darts: van Gerwen’s draw with Lewis allows Chisnall to share top spot

Dave Chisnall drew level at the top of the Premier League table after Michael van Gerwen drew against Adrian Lewis at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.

Chisnall beat Kim Huybrechts 7-4 in the first match of the night to pick up a third league win and maintain his unbeaten start after the fourth week of competition.

In the last match of the evening, a determined Peter Wright kept his unbeaten record against Phil Taylor in the Premier League intact, with a draw.

Elsewhere, world champion Gary Anderson defeated James Wade, Raymond van Barneveld saw off Stephen Bunting.

Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis

A late fightback saw Michael van Gerwen nick a draw in a dramatic encounter with Adrian Lewis.

Van Gerwen accused his opponent of “slowing him down” in an interview to Sky Sports after the match, also adding that believed he was “the better player”.

Rebutting the comments made, Lewis said he can play slow and fast and that “Michael obviously doesn’t have that calibre”.

There was only one player in that game and I should have won. But to come back from 5-2 down feels great! – Michael van Gerwen

A focussed van Gerwen started strongly but a nerveless 112 checkout from Lewis prevented the Dutchman from breaking early.

After holding again, a crucial 70 saw Jackpot snare a break and he consolidated with a calm 82 finish in the sixth leg while van Gerwen lurked on double eight.

A narrowly missed bull proved academical as Lewis opened a three-leg gap but sloppy scoring helped van Gerwen recover one break and he moved to within a leg after finishing the ninth in just 10 darts.

Lewis struck back to ensure a point but proceeded to slacken off again as his clinical opponent pinched four of the last five legs – rallying from a 5-2 deficit – to salvage a draw.

Kim Huybrechts v Dave Chisnall

An exhibition of power scoring saw Dave Chisnall secure a third Premier League win in four matches with a 7-4 victory over Kim Huybrechts.

In what was a high-quality contest, the pair shared 10 180s between them – Chisnall hitting six – as both averaged in excess of 107.

After sharing the opening two legs, a 90 finish in the third gave Chisnall an early break. A 10-darter from Huybrechts halted his opponent’s run of three straight legs but two missed darts at tops in the next allowed Chisnall to restore a two-leg cushion.

The Belgian kept in contention despite missing double 12 for a nine-dart finish however Chisnall’s strength on his own throw saw him to a 6-4 advantage – guaranteeing a point – before closing out the match in the next with a 100 checkout.

Gary Anderson v James Wade

A Gary Anderson surge saw him claim six of the last seven legs against James Wade to win 7-4.

Wade started brightly, breaking throw in the opening leg and a 14-darter in the next moved him 2-0 ahead.

Five missed darts at doubles for Anderson weren’t punished as he opened his account in leg three but further spurned chances in the fourth prevented him from levelling.

A 67 checkout galvanised the Scot to break with an 11-darter in the sixth, and he moved ahead for the first time after Wade missed double 16 for a 146 finish. The Machine arrested the slide – holding throw for four-all – but the world champion broke at the next opportunity, going 6-4 up to take a point.

And after Wade failed to apply pressure on the Anderson throw, the latter sealed the win with an assured 92 checkout and an average just shy of 99.

Stephen Bunting v Raymond van Barneveld

Reigning champion Raymond van Barneveld triumphed in a tense affair with Stephen Bunting, winning 7-4 in a battle of the early strugglers.

Bunting narrowly missed double 10 for a 128 and five further wayward darts aided a spectacled van Barneveld to an early break which he confirmed by holding for 2-0.

The former Lakeside world champion wasted another six darts in the next as the Dutchman eased to a controlling 4-0 lead.

Van Barneveld continued to capitalise tame scoring from Bunting who became visibly irritated once again on the Premier League stage, but he registered his first leg in the fifth with a two-dart 78-outshot.

Bunting restored one of the breaks after van Barneveld failed on double 18 and double nine, and those misses proved the catalyst for a collapse in his scoring.

However, vital checkouts in legs 10 and 11 ensured a first win for the five-time world champion, as Bunting was condemned to a third loss in four matches.

Phil Taylor v Peter Wright

The first four legs of the match went with throw as Wright was vastly improved on his previous matches.

After Taylor missed double top for a 160 finish, Wright nailed double 16 to snatch a break. But a poor leg allowed Taylor to immediately break back.

Wright was afforded a chance after the 16-time world champion couldn’t break again, and he took his chance, hitting double 10 for four-apiece.

Taylor was almost shell-shocked when Wright came close to finishing 161 but hit double 16 with one dart in hand to hold throw. However, Wright continued to be solid and left his opponent few chances.

The Power won the 11th leg to earn a point, but a 180 in the deciding leg gave Wright the breathing room to comfortably complete a draw.

League Table

Week 4Chisnall’s win sees him move level with van Gerwen at the top of the table while Anderson’s return to winning ways leaves him just one point behind in third.

A draw for Peter Wright moved him out of the drop zone, an area occupied by Huybrechts and Bunting after they suffered further defeats.

Next week’s Premier League will be held at the Westpoint Arena in Exeter, with darts remaining in the South West for the UK Open which takes place in Minehead between March 6-8.

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