The first night of the premier league was kicked off by Peter Wright and Dave Chisnall. Chizzy bossed the match as Wright struggled to find his feet in the short format. Both players struggled to hit their doubles but it was Chizzy’s scoring that set him apart from his opponent allowing him to win the game with ease. The last leg was a superb 11 darter finished with a 100 checkout. A nice start to Chisnall’s campaign.
It was during the second match of the night where the pedigree of the Premier League showed its true self. Raymond van Barneveld was stunned as Adrian Lewis hit top gear with his highest televised average and the fourth highest in the Premier League’s history. The 113.8 average was matched by his 54% accuracy on doubles. Barney was left stunned. Adrian romped to a 7-1 victory, hitting five 180’s on the way and setting down a marker for the following weeks.
Watching in the wings was van Gerwen. He would not be out done. He played Kim Huybrechts in the third match. The hurricane was able to stick alongside the dutchman in the early stages of the match but then Michael hit the accelerator. He motored ahead with a 108 average, hitting his doubles 64% of the time. Huybrechts, despite losing proved his worth in the premier league with a 98 average to answer his critics.
Next up was a replay of the World Championship final as we saw Taylor take on Anderson. Taylor couldn’t get ahead in the match but stayed on Anderson’s tail up until the final leg which saw Anderson break Taylor to take the maximum points. The stats would say that Taylor was the winner as he was up five points on Anderson’s average which was only 99. Anderson, by winning a match he maybe shouldn’t have done, showed he has the attributes of a true champion.
The debutant, Stephen Bunting, was up next as he locked horns with James Wade. Bunting settled his nerves by winning the first leg. However, he then struggled to find rhythm as Wade went into a 3-1 lead. Bunting clawed his way back into the match but only for Wade to pull out in front again, winning three legs on the spin. Bunting then gritted his teeth and, with some impressive scoring, drew the match to secure his first point of his Premier League campaign. Both players seemed happy with the result.
Here’s a great interview with Bunting after the match from live darts expanding on the game and his decision to use new darts.
It was a fantastic premier league night with all the players proving why they were picked for the Premier League. The atmosphere in Leeds was jumping, every darts fan that was watching at home would have wanted to be part of that night. I’m sure they’ll be nights just as good, in what is being marked the most competitive Premier League line up to date.
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