• World Darts Championship

Whitlock wizardry propels him into quarter-finals

ESPN staff
December 27, 2012 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »
Simon Whitlock beat Dave Chisnall in a thriller © PA Photos
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Simon Whitlock produced a moment of magic to fend off a resurgent Dave Chisnall and reach the quarter-finals of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.

Trailing by two legs in the deciding set, Chisnall won three consecutive legs to move to the brink of the quarter-finals, but Whitlock kept his nerve to produce a match-saving 152 checkout to swing the momentum in his favour before sealing a dramatic 4-3 victory.

Whitlock, a runner-up at the event back in 2010, never trailed in the match - taking the lead on three occasions only for Chisnall to level and force a decisive seventh set.

Chisnall appeared to be on course for a sensational comeback victory when he won three legs in a row to lead 4-3 in the decider, but Whitlock responded to seal a narrow win.

"When I fell 3-2 down in the final set I was well aware that I had to produce something special, and I did that with the 152 finish against the darts", Whitlock said.

"Dave's an excellent player and we've had a few tough battles in recent months, and today's match was no different. I lead the match three times but could never shake Dave off and I had to dig very deep."

Whitlock will face the winner of the third-round clash between Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld, who play later on Thursday.

There was no such drama in the final match of the afternoon session in London as James Wade eased past Vincent van der Voort 4-0. In an entertaining game, the scoreline flattered Wade, but Van der Voort was guilty of wasting his chances.

Wade will face Wes Newton in the last eight following his 4-1 victory over Mark Walsh. After edging a tight opening set, Newton won six legs on the bounce to take control of the match and move within one leg of victory. Walsh avoided the whitewash with victory in the fourth set and had chances to take the fifth, but Newton held his nerve to close out the match.

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