Peter Wright produced a record-breaking 24 maximums to reach Monday’s World Darts Championship final, where he will play Michael Smith.
Wright had to be at his very best against Gary Anderson in a mesmerising encounter which saw a record 39 maximums in total, but it was ‘Snakebite’ who came out on top 6-4 to reach his third final.
Earlier, Michael Smith made it through to his second final in four years with a 6-3 victory over James Wade.
World Darts Championship – Sunday’s Results
|James Wade||3-6||Michael Smith|
|Peter Wright||6-4||Gary Anderson|
Wonderful Wright ends Anderson’s hopes in semi-final cracker
Anderson, who has struggled with a back injury for much of the year, took on compatriot and good friend Wright for a shot at a second successive appearance in the final, but a 13-dart break of throw and a neat 62 finish gave ‘Snakebite’ the opening set against the throw.
Wright, winner in 2020, showed all of his big match experience as he extended his lead in a deciding leg with a 106.09 average before winning a third consecutive set with a clinical 76 break before pinning double 18.
Anderson, champion in both 2015 and 2016, was playing in the last four for the seventh time, and despite Wright’s ‘Deller’ 138 in the third leg of the fourth set, ‘The Flying Scotsman’ got on the board with a massive 92 checkout on two double 18s.
It was game on when Anderson sealed the next 3-1 with a maximum followed by a 105 checkout to send Ally Pally into a frenzy.
Wright came close to the fourth nine-darter of the tournament in the second leg of the sixth set. After landing eight perfect darts, the Scot went below double 12 for yet more history. He still managed 10, 12 and 15-dart legs on his way to a 4-2 lead.
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6️⃣ Peter WRIGHT (104.38)???????
4️⃣ Gary ANDERSON (102.72)???????
— Premium Dart Data (@PremiumDartData) January 2, 2022
Anderson was not giving up so easily and he reeled Wright back within his sights thanks to a 116.80 average. However, the world No 2 secured the eighth set 3-1 to move within one of the final.
Sixth-ranked Anderson was relishing the fight as he clawed it back to 5-4 against his Scottish compatriot before landing a marvellous 104 in the third leg of the 10th set, it was Wright who fought back before completing a phenomenal victory in an unbelievable contest with a quality 116 checkout.
Live World Darts Championship
January 3, 2022, 8:00pm
World Darts Championship – Monday’s final at the Worlds
|Michael Smith||vs||Peter Wright|
‘Bully Boy’ through to second Ally Pally final
Smith, runner up to Michael van Gerwen in 2019, snatched a tight opener on throw with double 4 before quickly doubling his lead with a brilliant 114 checkout, averaging 119.14 for the set.
Wade, playing in the semi-final for the first time since 2013, was unable to cope with the scoring power of the St Helens arrowsmith, but despite receiving an absolute pummelling, he somehow snatched the third set with a stunning 121 checkout in the deciding leg after Smith squandered two darts to go 3-0 up.
Players to appear in multiple PDC World Championship finals
Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen
— Weekly Dartscast (@WeeklyDartscast) January 2, 2022
The 38-year-old is an outsider after seeing his ranking plummet in recent weeks, but ‘The Machine’ insists he is enjoying proving people wrong – especially Sky Sports pundit Wayne Mardle.
He let a two-leg lead slip from his grasp in the fourth set, however, as ‘Bully Boy’ claimed it in a decider to move 3-1 ahead.
Although Wade pinned a vintage bullseye for his second 121 of the match in the next set, it was Smith who rallied with three legs on the spin to take it.
An 11th maximum followed by a sublime 130 checkout on the bullseye gave Smith an early break in the sixth set, which propelled him to a whitewash set and a comfortable 5-1 advantage.
In spite of Smith’s opening 112 to begin the seventh set, it was Wade who buried a brilliant 160 to make it 5-2 and the Aldershot ace made it back-to-back sets after the trebles deserted his opponent.
The 31-year-old finally booked his ticket in the fourth leg of the ninth set after a sumptuous 150 set-up shot followed by double 10 with his second match dart.
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