Simon Whitlock came out on top in a thrilling encounter with Dave Chisnall to move into the quarter-finals of the Ladbrokes World Championship at Alexandra Palace.
‘The Wizard’ produced a sensational 152 checkout at 3-2 down in the deciding set, with Chisnall waiting for a shot at 90 for the match.
That show-stopping finish was one of five checkouts of over 100 from the Australian, who moved into the last eight for the third time in four visits to the Ally Pally.
“It was a great match,” said Whitlock
“There was plenty of drama and it was a fantastic win for me.
“To pull that 152 was unbelievable. I was so focused and I never doubted that I’d hit it.
“I’m feeling really confident and relaxed and there is no reason that I can’t go all the way.”
Whitlock kicked off with a neat 68 checkout and went on to take the first set 3-2, before breaking his opponent’s throw in the first leg of the second set.
Chisnall hit back though, winning the next three legs to draw level.
‘The Wizard’ then reeled off three straight legs as he restored his lead, with the help of 74 and 78 finishes.
But ‘Chizzy’ pulled level again by winning all three legs in set four.
Whitlock took out a brilliant 120 checkout, before his first maximum helped him break and open up a two leg lead in the fifth set.
The Australian ace hit another 180 as he held to move three sets to two ahead.
Chisnall won the first two legs of the fifth set but missed three darts at his double to win it, allowing Whitlock to step in and break by pegging double top.
‘The Wizard’ then slotted in his third maximum before taking out a fantastic 126 checkout on the bull, but Chisnall held his throw in the set decider to restore parity once more.
Whitlock won the first leg of the final set thanks to a clinical 100 finish.
He then moved within the leg of the match by producing a sensational 130 finish on the bull but Chisnall kept himself in the match by breaking, after starting the leg with back to back 180s.
The former Lakeside finalist drew level and then broke Whitlock’s throw to go ahead for the first time in the match, leaving himself throwing for a place in the last eight.
‘The Wizard’ then produced a moment of magic under pressure, as he took out an incredible 152 checkout to break, with Chisnall waiting on 90 for the match.
His fourth maximum helped him hold his throw and take a 4-3 lead in the tie-break, where either player has to win by two clear legs.
And Whitlock ensured hit would be him progressing in to the quarter-finals as he pinned double top to break and seal the victory.
‘The Wizard’, who reached the semi-finals last year, will take on Raymond van Barneveld or Gary Anderson for a place in the last four of the £1 million tournament.
Whitlock added: “I’ll definitley watch the match between Raymond and Gary. It could be another great game but I’ll have a plan and I’ll be ready for whoever wins.”
By Chris Murphy