A review of the first of this week's Premier League Darts nights in Rotterdam, as Peter Wright stunned MVG while Raymond van Barneveld thrilled his home fans.
- There were five fixtures in Rotterdam on Wednesday and another five will be held on Thursday to make up for when the freezing weather earlier in the season wiped out the night in Exeter.
- Scroll down for match-by-match reports, statistics and updated standings
Wright doubles up on MVG
Peter Wright completed a shock Premier League double over Michael van Gerwen with a thrilling 7-5 victory that silenced the partisan Rotterdam crowd.
Snakebite, who triumphed when the pair last met in this competition in Cardiff, remains bottom out of the remaining eight players having endured a largely miserable campaign but remarkably two of this three victories so far have been against the world number one.
MVG averaged 106.87 - the 33rd consecutive Premier League game he's posted an average over 100 - hit four 180s, two 100+ checkouts and pinned 50% of his doubles in a display that would have won many other contests.
But Wright's timing and finishing proved the difference as he hit seven of his 10 attempts at doubles at key times.
Last year's runner-up was five out of five when he led 5-2 but it wasn't long before his advantage was wiped out as the home favourite ruthlessly converted 122 and 148 checkouts either side of a stunning finish from 94 in which he went single 18, double 18, double 20.
Wright kept his cool on throw for a 15-darter that guaranteed a point before snatching a break in the deciding leg.
He told www.pdc.tv: "It's special to play in this atmosphere and it makes you focus more and want to play your best darts. I always like playing Michael because he brings the best out of you.
"I knew I had a game on my hands because he's top of the league and the number one in the world, but it didn't matter what Michael did tonight, I knew I would win. I was just in that mood and when you feel like that the game is easy."
MVG will have the chance to bounce back in front of the Rotterdam fans when he takes on Raymond van Barneveld on Thursday night.
Scroll down for more reports, results & stats
Barney Army inspires Raymond
An inspired Raymond van Barneveld delighted the Rotterdam crowd with a 7-3 victory over Simon Whitlock which keeps his outside play-off hopes alive.
Roared on by the 10,000-strong a sea of orange at the Ahoy Arena, Barney put his recent Premier League disappointments behind him as he averaged 100.96 and hit four 180s in a much-improved performance.
Such was his dominance on the night, Whitlock was only afforded four attempts at doubles although he pinned three of them to ensure van Barneveld stayed focused on closing out the victory, which was sealed by a clinical two-dart finish from 90.
Barney, who is now on 10 points and just three behind fourth-placed Gary Anderson, will return to the Rotterdam stage on Thursday night for a blockbuster Dutch derby with Michael van Gerwen.
"I was emotional when I got on stage," admitted van Barneveld. "This is what it's all about - to play in front of this crowd is such an honour. To be here and to do so well in front of a crowd like this is amazing and I'm so happy.
"I've been struggling for the last two or three weeks and I've lost four games on the spin, so tonight it was really important to have the win against Simon. I've got Michael van Gerwen now on Thursday and I can look forward to that. I still believe I can do it but I can't make any mistakes. If you dream, anything can happen."
Two out of two for Anderson
Gary Anderson capped off a superb night for him in Rotterdam with a 7-3 victory over Rob Cross that lifts him to third in the Premier League table.
Having averaged just short of 110 in a 7-2 thrashing of high-flying Michael Smith 7-2 earlier in the night, the Flying Scotsman returned to the stage to deliver another relentless performance.
Anderson hit his first five darts at doubles to lead 5-2 but when he finally missed one, it was agonisingly at double 12 for a nine-dart finish!
He ended up missing a further three darts at a double before finally pinning double three to go 6-2 up and although Cross pulled one back, Anderson was not to be denied his second victory of the night.
The 47-year-old is now just a point behind the world champion, who had earlier beaten Daryl Gurney to leapfrog Michael Smith into second, and a further two short of Michael van Gerwen following the Dutchman's shock defeat to Peter Wright.
With the race for the top-four spots hotting up, Anderson will be keen to pick up a third win in Rotterdam on Thursday night when he faces Daryl Gurney.
"Coming here knowing I had three games in two nights I wanted to get six points, so to have four points so far is looking good," said Anderson. It came good and the first game was great against Michael. He beat me on the first night and I couldn't let myself lose to him twice in a season!
"The 180s were banging in and the checkouts were good, and it was a lot better than the last time I played Michael. The finishing went well throughout the night tonight, it was absolutely great. It's been a while since I played two games in a night but this part of the season is where you've got to start digging deep."
Anderson added: "It would have been lovely to hit the nine-darter, and I thought the double 12 was going in. When I let go I thought it was perfect, but it just missed."
Flying Scotsman too fast for Smith
Gary Anderson produced once of the finest performances of the Premier League season as he thrashed Michael Smith 7-2 to get this week's Rotterdam double-header off to a flying start.
The Flying Scotsman recorded an average of 109.92, hit four 180s and nailed seven of his 10 attempts at doubles to leave his protege trailing in his wake.
Anderson finished the match in style too with a classy 138 checkout.
The result ensured the 47-year-old would remain in the top four by the end of the night but he later leapt into third above Smith after defeating Rob Cross in his second match that closed the night.
Bully Boy will need to lick his wounds ahead of his clash with Simon Whitlock on Thursday as he bids to consolidate his position in the play-offs.
Voltage too high for Gurney
Rob Cross continued his resurgence with a 7-4 victory over Daryl Gurney that lifts him above Michael Smith to second in the Premier League Darts table.
Since starting his debut campaign with two heavy defeats, the world champion has now won eight out of his nine games to move up to 16 points and apply pressure to Michael van Gerwen at the top.
Voltage took advantage of an awfully slow start from Gurney, who was averaging in the low 80s after five legs, as he raced into a 5-0 lead although the Northern Irishman suddenly found some form to make a game of it.
Two 100+ checkouts of 120 and 138 helped Gurney reduce the deficit to 6-4 only for Cross, who averaged 96.09 and hit four 180s, to finish the job in the next leg.
Cross went on to lose his second match of the night to Gary Anderson but he remains second in the table.
Premier League results, table & statistics
- Michael Smith 2-7 Gary Anderson
- Rob Cross 7-4 Daryl Gurney
- Raymond van Barneveld 7-3 Simon Whitlock
- Peter Wright 7-5 Michael van Gerwen
- Rob Cross 3-7 Gary Anderson
Premier League Darts Table
- MVG P 11 W 9 D 0 L 2 LegD +36 Pts 18
- Cross P 12 W 8 D 0 L 4 LegD +10 Pts 16
- Anderson P 12 W 6 D 3 L 3 LegD +15 Pts 15
- Smith P 11 W 7 D 0 L 4 LegD +18 Pts 14
- Gurney P 11 W 3 D 5 L 3 LegD -1 Pts 11
- Whitlock P 11 W 4 D 2 L 5 LegD -5 Pts 10
- Barney P 12 W 4 D 2 L 6 LegD -14 Pts 10
- Wright P 12 W 3 D 4 L 5 LegD -17 Pts 10
- Suljovic P 9 W 2 D 0 L 7 LegD -13 Pts 4
- Price P 9 W 0 D 2 L 7 LegD -29 Pts 2
Suljovic and Price were eliminated after Judgement Night
- Anderson (v Smith) 109.91
- MVG 106.87
- Barney 100.96
- Anderson (v Cross) 99.87
- Wright 99.08
- Cross (v Anderson) 98.22
- Cross (v Gurney) 96.09
- Smith 96
- Gurney 91.71
- Whitlock 89.49
- Anderson (v Smith) 4
- MVG 4
- Cross (v Gurney) 4
- Barney 4
- Wright 3
- Anderson (v Cross) 3
- Cross (v Anderson) 3
- Whitlock 2
- Gurney 1
- Smith 0
- MVG 148
- Cross (v Anderson) 144
- Anderson (v Smith) 138
- Gurney 138
- Anderson (v Cross) 120
- Cross (v Gurney) 119
- Barney 100
- Wright 98
- Smith 90
- Whitlock 88
- Whitlock 75%
- Wright 70%
- Anderson (v Smith) 70%
- Anderson (v Cross) 63.64%
- MVG 50%
- Gurney 44.44%
- Barney 42.86%
- Smith 33.33%
- Cross (v Gurney) 33.33%
- Cross (v Anderson) 27.27%