Gerwyn Price beats Stephen Bunting in record-setting epic while Gary Anderson defeats Dave Chisnall to reach fifth World Championship final since 2011 – watch live coverage of the World Darts Championship final on Sunday night from 7.30pm on Sky Sports Darts
By Paul Prenderville at Alexandra Palace
Last Updated: 03/01/21 12:10pm
Gerwyn Price will face Gary Anderson in a mouth-watering World Darts Championship final on Sunday night after the pair came through thrilling semi-finals at Alexandra Palace.
Just over two years on from their explosive clash in the Grand Slam of Darts final, the pair will duke it out in north London for the right to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy and collect the £500,000 first prize.
Also on the line for Price is the world No 1 ranking, if he claims the title, after he fought back from 3-1 and 4-3 down to beat Stephen Bunting 6-4 in a record-breaking contest that saw the pair share a tournament-record 13 three-figure finishes.
While Price progressed to his first World Championship final, 2015 and 2016 champion Anderson reached his fifth after a 6-3 victory over Dave Chisnall who was unable to reach the heights of his spectacular triumph over Michael van Gerwen on Friday night.
In a year that has seen Price win more titles than anyone else, he can add the biggest title of them all, but a resurgent Anderson will be determined to make history of his own and become the first Scot to claim three titles and the ninth man to become a three-time world champion.
PDC World Darts Championship 2020/21
|Semi-Final||Gary Anderson 6-3 Dave Chisnall|
|Gerwyn Price 6-4 Stephen Bunting|
|Final||Gary Anderson vs Gerwyn Price|
Price fights back to deny Bunting
Price had vowed to be better than in his maiden World Championship semi-final last year, and he was as good as his word in beating Bunting in a record-breaking thriller.
‘The Iceman’ had averaged 89 in a 6-3 defeat to eventual champion Peter Wright 12 months ago, but he produced a performance of class and displayed his battling qualities in a spectacular contest over two enthralling hours.
Price fired in eight 100+ finishes to set an individual record at the tournament, beating Phil Taylor’s mark of seven and, fittingly, he fired in one in each of the last two sets to finally end Bunting’s hopes of becoming the fourth player to win both the PDC and BDO world titles.
Bunting vs Price…..The numbers
|Stephen Bunting||Gerwyn Price|
|18/34 (53%)||Double Attempts||25/53 (47%)|
|148, 136, 120, 118, 117||100+ finishes||140, 131, 128, 116, 112|
|109, 103, 100|
Price got the better of a high-class opening set, defying finishes of 120 and 117 in 15-dart legs from Bunting to average 105 himself with a 109 finish the highlight.
The Welshman had lost the first set of last year’s semi-final but looked to be heading two sets to the good this time as a 140 finish capped a blistering start the second. However, poised on double top, The Iceman saw Bunting take out 82 to kickstart a comeback that saw him level the match.
Remarkably a fifth 100+ outshot in 11 legs gave Price the early initiative. But Bunting weathered the 116 finish to continue his own astonishing finishing stats, cleaning up 81 on the bullseye and then taking out 76 for a 12-dart leg that sealed the third set and a 2-1 lead.
The pair traded two more huge finishes – 136 from Bunting and 131 from Price – to make it seven big finishes from 14 legs played. The big check-outs slowed down, but it was ‘The Bullet’ who held his nerve for a two-set lead when he took out the next two legs.
Having averaged 101 in losing the fourth set, Price showed all the qualities that have taken him to eight titles this year – more than anyone else – to scrap his way to the fifth set with an average of 93 as Bunting’s doubles began to let him down.
The Iceman ploughed on and levelled the contest at three sets all with a fifth three-figure outshot and a sixth followed as he moved into a 2-0 lead in the seventh set. Bunting was not phased and refused to buckle as he took out 148 and 118 himself on his way to defying two missed set darts from the world No 3, and it was the man from St Helens who stood within two of the six required.
But back came Price, averaging 113 for the eighth set and a level contest – pinning double 10 for the 10th time from 10 attempts for 4-4.
With the best-of-11 match effectively now a best-of-three-set match, Price raced to the finish line, winning six of the last seven legs to move into his maiden Ally Pally final.
Two more three-figure finishes helped him set the new record at the World Championships, 112 on his way to a 5-4 lead and 103 on his way to the 10th set of a remarkable match.
To be up against it and Stephen taking out everything in that game, it’s the best I’ve played in this tournament and I needed to.
He punished me whenever I slipped up. I was 3-1 down and I was kicking myself, I was 4-3 down and kicking myself, but I dug in there.
I think in two sets, I was up two legs in both sets and I bombed them, but that’s the class Stephen showed.
It was a tough, tough game.
Gerwyn Price on his win over Stephen Bunting
Anderson too good for Chisnall
Anderson has proved to be Chisnall’s World Championship nemesis on more than one occasion. For the third time on the Ally Pally stage, the Scot ended the Englishman’s campaign.
Two-time champion Anderson had won quarter-finals between the pair in 2017 and 2019 and he was to run out victorious again as ‘Chizzy’ came up short in his quest for a first major televised title, despite sharing 26 180s.
With Anderson claiming a 124 finish during the first set, and the pair having looked on as Bunting and Price shared 13 check-outs, Chisnall joined the party in the opening leg of the second, reeling in the highest possible finish when he pinned bullseye for a 170 check-out.
Anderson vs Chisnall…..The numbers
|Gary Anderson||Dave Chisnall|
|22/60 (37%)||Double Attempts||16/45 (36%)|
|124, 116||100+ finishes||170, 124, 121, 119|
Despite six missed darts for the set, Chizzy held off an Anderson fightback from 2-0 down to win the deciding leg of the second set and the match was all square.
But Anderson was a man in control and the two-time champion has a formidable record in semi-finals, having won four of his previous five contests at this stage of the event, and he assumed control with a classy 11-dart leg on his way to a 2-1 lead.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ continued to exert his authority, keeping an errant Chisnall at bay throughout the fourth set as he moved halfway to the required target of six sets.
Chizzy may have struggled with his doubles but the bullseye was proving to be his friend. A classy 124 finish helped him halve the deficit as he claimed the fifth set and when Anderson missed a dart at double 11 for the sixth Chisnall had the chance to level the match.
However, with 84 needed, he not only failed to manage a dart at a double, he bust his score and Anderson mopped up to re-establish the two-set advantage. As he had done throughout, Chisnall continued to fight and forged a two-leg lead in the seventh set only for Anderson to take out 116. But Chisnall managed to pin double top to stay within touching distance.
However, that was as good as it got for the eighth seed as Anderson won the last six legs to sprint across the finish line – a pair of 13-dart legs in the final set putting a stamp of class on his victory and another World Championship final.
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