Wizard works his magic
A review of Thursday's first session at the PDC World Darts Championship.
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Simon Whitlock hit a 152 checkout as he battled back in the final set to reach the quarter-finals of the PDC World Darts Championship.
The fifth seed and 2010 finalist finished in style in Thursday's afternoon session as he fought back to triumph 4-3 against Dave 'Chizzy' Chisnall.
With the scores tied at 3-3, 'The Wizard' won the opening two legs of the deciding set, but three straight legs saw number 12 seed Chisnall move to within touching distance of a place in the quarter-finals.
But the Australian dug deep and bagged a magnificent 152 checkout when it mattered to stay in the match.
It was a blow Chisnall failed to recover from as Whitlock, who not previously trailed in the contest, won the subsequent two legs to set up a quarter-final match against either Gary Anderson or Raymond van Barneveld, who play on Thursday night.
Whitlock was delighted with his finish under pressure.
"That's probably my best, under pressure, what a fantastic finish! I needed it so badly," the number five seed told Sky Sports.
"When he went 3-2 up in the last set I thought 'I've got to pull something special' and I did."
Chisnall hailed Whitlock's 152 but believed he had contributed to his own defeat.
"I played alright there, but I had too many slack darts," he said. "Simon's a brilliant player. That 152, I can't believe it."
In further action, Wes Newton set up a final eight clash against James Wade with a 4-1 victory over Mark Walsh.
The number six seed won the fifth leg to claim the first set and never looked back, whitewashing the second set before taking a three-set advantage with a double 20.
Walsh found the double-eight to reduce the deficit to 3-1 but Newton fought back from two legs down to win the fifth set with a double-five finish.
James Wade whitewashed Vincent van der Voort 4-0 in the last of the afternoon's action to set up his date with Newton.
The number three seed's task was made much easier with the Dutch player's poor finishing, checking out with a double-12 to seal the win.