Day 14 at the Ally Pally featured the two semi-finals. All four remaining players are former or current World Champions. The first match featured a resurgent Adrian Lewis against a motivated Raymond van Barneveld. The second match featured the defending champion Gary Anderson and an in-form Jelle Klaasen.
Raymond van Barneveld v Adrian Lewis
27-2-18 (2-0-6 in 2015)
1st Set: Lewis threw first and tossed in a 170 from 210 to leave tops. With Barney waiting on 104, Lewis went inside on tops and d10 before drilling d5 with his last dart. Barney never got going on his throw, and Lewis’s first 180 left 58, which he took out last dart on d10 to double his lead. Throwing for the set, Lewis kicked off with a poor visit, and Barney punished him with his first 180, followed by a 140. Barney was the first to an out, hitting the t19 on a 91 combo, but missed inside on tops and d10. Lewis then missed d5 inside for an 85, before Barney proceeded to miss 3 of his own on d5. Lewis then cleaned up 5 s1-s2-d1 for a whitewash set on his darts. Despite missing five darts at double, Lewis still averaged 100.2 for the set.
2nd Set: Barney opened his throw with consecutive visits of 40, while Lewis found the treble 20 with his first four darts. Barney couldn’t leave a finish after 12 darts, and Lewis—who was down after nine darts to the 121 that Barney took out four times yesterday—recorded the first three-figure checkout of the evening on d18 for a fourth consecutive leg. Barney rebounded and was the first to a finish on Lewis’s throw, but he could only manage a dart at bull from 90. Lewis then took out 54 on d10 for a fifth consecutive leg, all of which he had won last dart in hand. Barney finally won his first leg, holding throw on d2 with Lewis waiting on tops, and saving the set in the process. Lewis seemed to be in control throwing for the set, leaving 56 after 12, but Barney took out 161 on the bull to force a decider. Barney got down to 71, but Lewis had the first attempt from 100 to break and win the set. Needing 80 with two darts in hand, Lewis goes tops-tops to win the set and go 2-0 up in the match. Before those two darts, Lewis had been 0/3 at tops.
3rd Set: Throwing first, Lewis missed three darts at double, one each tops, d10, and d5, to leave 5. Barney narrowly missed 120 on tops. Lewis then busted from 5, going inside on d2 and d1. However, Barney proceeded to miss three darts at double to leave 5 himself. Lewis finally took out the 5 on d1 to hold the throw. Next leg, Lewis again struggles on his doubles, but Barney never got down to a double, and Lewis eventually hit d5 for a 2-0 lead. Lewis missed tops for a 110, but Barney could only manage a single dart at d16 from 64, which he missed inside. Lewis then took out tops for a third straight set.
4th Set: Lewis threw in a 180 against throw to take the lead in the leg, but Barney followed with his second maximum to regain the edge. Barney managed to leave 161, which he took out for the second time on the night for a hold of throw. Lewis responded with a 116 checkout on tops to level the set. Next leg on Barney’s throw, six perfect darts left Lewis 144. Yet after Lewis couldn’t clean up 50 after missing tops for the ninth and tenth times on the night, Barney took out 56 on d8 last dart in hand for a 2-1 lead. But Lewis leveled again, throwing in a 12-dart leg, finishing 41 on d8. In the deciding leg, Lewis stole the darts, but a 41 from 181 let Barney back in, but Barney could get to a double from 101, and Lewis took tops for a 4-0 lead in sets.
5th Set: Barney missed 121 on the bull to break, before Lewis missed 123 on the bull to hold. Both missed two at double, and Barney finally broke on d1 for a 1-0 lead. But Barney was nowhere to be found on his throw, and Lewis broke back despite missing tops and d10 for a 100. Lewis then threw in a regulation 13-darter on tops for a 2-1 lead. Lewis’s 9th 180 put him nearly 200 points ahead on Barney’s throw, and he finished the set off on tops, putting him one set from the final.
6th Set: Barney left 24 from 161, but Lewis put pressure on him to hold, leaving 36 from 170. But Barney hit with his first dart for the first time, taking d12 for a 1-0 lead. Lewis then leveled by finishing 100 with a tops-tops finish for the second time on the night. Barney showed some resolve in the next leg, checking out from 366 in 9 darts (180-140-46) for a 2-1 lead. Barney then finally took the set, taking out 112 on tops to close within 5 sets to 1.
7th Set: Barney was nowhere to be found on Lewis’s throw, but eventually took out d5 for a break after Lewis missed seven darts at double, the last two at d1. Barney’s fourth maximum put him in the lead in the leg, and after Lewis can’t find a treble from 111, moved 2-0 up on d16. Lewis then saved the set with a 14-darter in which he missed three more darts at double, starting with 4 perfect darts as well. Throwing for the set, Barney couldn’t find a treble in his first two visits, and consecutive 180s by Lewis left him on 45 after 9 darts. Lewis switched to d16, cleaning up an 11-darter to move within one leg of victory. But Lewis’s game deserted him, and Barney took out 134 on d16 to win the set and extend the match yet again.
8th Set: Lewis’s 13th maximum left him 124, but he missed the bull for the break. Barney then scored a fantastic 117 finish on tops to move ahead. Barney then throws in his fifth 180—the 600th of the World championships—to the lead on Lewis’s throw, and he eventually finished 100 on tops to race into a 2-0 lead in the set. Lewis broke back on tops to extend the set, hitting that double for only the 7th time from 22 attempts on the night. He then threw in his 14th 180 to pull ahead of Barney in the next leg, With Barney on 87, Lewis took out 91 in two darts on tops to the level the set and again move within one leg of his third PDC World Championship final. But Barney had the darts to win the set, and after Lewis couldn’t find a treble in two visits, Barney’s sixth maximum put Lewis in his dust. Barney made it three sets on the trot with tops, sending the match into another interval and making my promise that I would not eat ice cream until this match was over a much more difficult promise to keep than I thought it would be three sets earlier.
9th Set: With Barney waiting to pounce on the same 161 that he had checked out twice earlier tonight, Lewis took out 96 last dart in hand on d9 for a hold of throw and a 1-0 lead. Barney then couldn’t get going in the next leg, with Lewis’s 15th maximum leaving him on 85. With Barney not on a finish, Lewis took 4 darts to clean up from there, eventually hitting d10 to move within one leg of the final yet again. Throwing for the match, Lewis seemed to have control, but 45 from 207 didn’t leave a finish. Barney couldn’t take out 141, but he left 32. Lewis then missed tops for the match and a 72 checkout, and Barney’s first dart at d16 gave him a lifeline and halved the deficit to 2-1. In the fourth leg, Barney needed 71 with Lewis on 83, but his first dart hit a single 4, giving him only a dart at the bull, which he missed. Lewis then went 17-t16 to leave d9 for the match, which he hit to finally book his spot in Sunday’s final.
Raymond van Barneveld: 94.07
Adrian Lewis: 99.55
Raymond van Barneveld: 6
Adrian Lewis: 15
Gary Anderson v Jelle Klaasen
1st Set: Anderson kicked off with a 12-dart leg, checking out 46 for an easy hold. After missing d14 for a 121 and a break of throw, Anderson came back for d7 after Klaasen missed d5, breaking into a 2-0 lead in the set with a 13-dart leg. Nothing noteworthy happened in the third leg of the set, as Anderson threw in a routine t20-t20-t20, t20-t20-t20, t20-t19-d12 9-dart leg for the set. Anderson averaged 132.62 in the set.
2nd Set: Klaasen apparently has weathered the Anderson storm well, as he took out d6 with his first dart after leaving it from 152 in the previous visit. Anderson leveled the set with a 13-dart leg, taking out tops after turning down the bull in his previous visit for what could have been a 164 checkout. In the third leg, Anderson and Klaasen exchanged 180s, and Klaasen held after taking out d3 to complete a 72 outshot. Anderson then leveled the set with a two-dart 96 on d18, forcing a deciding leg on Klaasen’s throw. Klaasen failed to find a treble with his first seven darts, and a 26 from 269 allowed Anderson to pull three trebles ahead. Anderson completed the set against the throw with a dart at tops for an 80 checkout.
3rd Set: Anderson shamefully only managed six perfect darts to start the set, eventually taking out 41 on tops for a mere 11-dart hold of throw. Klaasen then started his leg with a 180, but he let Anderson back in with some slack visits. However, Anderson could not take out d9 for a 123, and Klaasen hit tops to level the set at 1-1. In the third leg, Klaasen’s fourth 180 to leave 67 put pressure on Anderson to take out 31, but the World Champion was up for the challenge, taking it out s7-s12-d6 for a 2-1 lead. But Klaasen leveled again, taking out d9 at the fourth attempt. In the deciding leg, however, Anderson left 142 with Klaasen not a finish, and he took out his highest finish (although his 141 for a 9-darter may have been bigger) on tops for a 3-0 lead in sets.
4th Set: Klaasen couldn’t take out 87 on d5 to hold throw, and Anderson’s first dart at d16 gives him a huge break in a set that Klaasen has to win to stay in the match. Anderson then miscounted from 148, going for d4 after two t20s instead of d14. But Klaasen couldn’t make him pay, not leaving a double from 130. Anderson then took out d5 last dart in hand to go 2-0 up in the set. In the next leg, Klaasen saved the set with an 84 on his favourite d18, and then he broke to level the set with an 81, again on his favourite d18. Klaasen seemingly was in control of the leg, but visits of 60 and 43 from 183 gave Anderson a lifeline. Anderson needed 107 for the set, but missed tops. However, Klaasen could fair no better from 80. Anderson then came back and only needed one dart at d10 to go 4-0 up on the 2006 Lakeside Champion.
5th Set: Klaasen threw in another too-little-too-late 180 to put some pressure on Anderson to check out 66 to hold his throw, but Anderson made it look simple, drilling t10-d18. Next leg, Klaasen missed three darts at double with Anderson waiting on tops, which Anderson took for a 2-0 lead. Anderson then was under no pressure throwing for the set, eventually taking out d6 after going inside d12 with his first dart. The reigning World Champion moved to within a set of a rematch of the 2011 PDC World Championship Final, where he lost 7-5 to Adrian Lewis. Anderson’s average through five sets was 109.06, and he had converted all 12 of his outshots of 80 or less.
6th Set: Anderson missed darts at tops and d10 for a 51, the first time he failed to checkout 80 or less in the match. Klaasen then held for a 15-darter, taking 85 on d14 for a 1-0 lead. Anderson evened on d5, although he missed four darts over two visits before finally taking it out last dart in hand. In the third leg, Klaasen and Anderson both kicked off with 180s, but it’s Anderson who does better the rest of the way, leaving 16 after 9 darts. He missed two at d8, but hit d4 last dart in hand—his ninth out from 14 attempts last dart in hand—for the break of throw and to move within one leg of the final. Anderson then completes the whitewash with a 48 checkout on tops. The World Champion averaged 107.32 in a complete exhibition.
Gary Anderson: 107.32
Jelle Klaasen: 94.68
Gary Anderson: 8
Jelle Klaasen: 9
By Burton DeWitt