Comment & Analysis
Follow all the action on Finals Day with two bumper sessions of arrows – the quarter-finals get underway at 12pm on Sunday on Sky Sports Arena with the semi-finals and final on the same channel from 6pm
Last Updated: 12/09/21 1:32am
Defending champions Wales survived a huge scare to edge out Lithuania in a thrilling doubles decider and progress to the World Cup of Darts quarter-finals in Jena.
Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton were extended to the very limit by a plucky Lithuanian side, led by the nerveless Darius Labanauskas.
Wales appeared poised to cruise through to the last eight after Price accounted for Mindaugas Barauskas in the opening singles rubber, but Labanauskas produced a captain’s performance to defeat ‘The Ferret’ 4-2 and prolong the tie.
Price and Clayton stormed into a 3-1 lead in the decisive pairs clash, but Labanauskas converted a brilliant 116 checkout to preserve Lithuania’s hopes, before capitalising on a missed match dart from Clayton to send the tie all the way.
However, ‘The Iceman’ lived up to his name by firing in a crucial maximum to hand Wales the initiative in the last-leg shootout, and after Barauskas fluffed his lines in the latter stages, Price kept his composure to seal the deal via double four.
The reigning champions will now meet seventh seeds Australia in a repeat of last year’s quarter-finals, after Simon Whitlock and Damon Heta safely navigated their way through to the last eight with a 2-0 victory over Team USA.
‘The Wizard’ made a magical start against Danny Lauby; wiring double 18 for a nine-darter in leg two, and legs of 11 and 13 darts helped him establish a 3-0 cushion.
Lauby converted a stunning 170 kill en route to forcing a decider, but Whitlock held his nerve to prevail, before Heta battled past Chuck Puleo 4-2 in a topsy-turvy affair to seal Australia’s place at Finals Day for the eighth time in 11 years.
Van Gerwen, Wright set to collide in last eight
Michael van Gerwen is bidding to win his first World Cup title without Raymond van Barneveld, and Netherlands remain in the hunt for a fifth crown after defeating Singapore in successive singles matches.
Despite producing a below-par display, Van Gerwen closed out a comprehensive 4-0 success over 67-year-old Paul Lim, before Dirk van Duijvenbode defied a spirited display from Harith Lim to close out a nervy 4-3 win, having trailed 3-2 at one stage.
The four-time winners will play 2019 champions Scotland for a place in the semi-finals, after sixth seeds Peter Wright and John Henderson punished a profligate display from Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski and Krzysztof Kciuk to triumph.
World No 2 Wright survived a match dart as he recovered from 3-2 down to defeat Kciuk in the opening rubber, while Henderson exploited an error-strewn display from Ratajski to prevail 4-2 and register his first career victory over ‘The Polish Eagle’.
World Cup of Darts 2021: Saturday’s Second Round results
|Evening||Scotland 2-0 Poland|
|Germany 2-1 Japan|
|Netherlands 2-0 Singapore|
|Wales 2-1 Lithuania|
|Afternoon||Northern Ireland 2-0 Portugal|
|England 2-0 South Africa|
|Australia 2-0 USA|
|Belgium 0-2 Austria|
World Cup of Darts – Quarter-Final Order of Play
|Austria||vs||Northern Ireland (5)|
|England (1)||vs||Germany (8)|
|Wales (2)||vs||Australia (7)|
|Netherlands (3)||vs||Scotland (6)|
England ease through to set up Germany clash
England’s bid for a fifth World Cup crown continued, as James Wade and Dave Chisnall overcame South Africa in successive singles matches to book their last eight spot.
Wade recovered from a sluggish start to ease past Carl Gabriel 4-1, while a solitary break of throw for Chisnall was sufficient to wrap up a 4-2 victory over South Africa’s talisman Devon Petersen.
The top seeds will now take on Germany in a tantalising quarter-final clash, after Gabriel Clemens and Max Hopp survived a scare to defeat Japan in front of a partisan home crowd.
Clemens edged out Jun Matsuda 4-2, before Yoshihisa Baba landed two ton-plus finishes to whitewash an abject Hopp and level the contest. Hopp redeemed himself however, firing in a clinical 108 kill to wrap up a 4-1 victory in the doubles.
Sensational Suljovic leads Austria past Belgium
Belgium are the only seeded nation not featuring in the last eight after an inspired display from Mensur Suljovic catapulted Austria into yet another World Cup quarter-final.
‘The Gentle’ has featured sparingly on the PDC circuit this season, but he served a timely reminder of his credentials with a spectacular 4-1 success against Kim Huybrechts, in a contest which saw both men average 108.
Last year’s World Matchplay champion Dimitri Van den Bergh was unable to force a pairs decider, and a disastrous doubling display proved his undoing against Rowby John-Rodriguez, who prevailed 4-2 to inflict Belgium’s earliest exit at this event since 2012.
Austria will now take on fifth seeds Northern Ireland, who secured a place in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2016 after cruising past Portugal without conceding a leg.
Brendan Dolan and Daryl Gurney survived five match darts in their opener, but they endured no such dramas against Portugal. Dolan dispatched Jose Marques in the opening rubber, before Gurney averaged 97 to whitewash Jose De Sousa in a battle of the major champions.
What’s in store on Finals Day?
We’re down to the last eight in Jena, and there’s two bumper sessions of action in prospect on cup collection day.
All four previous winners of the competition are still in contention, and Netherlands’ quarter-final clash against Scotland represents the highlight of Sunday afternoon’s action, with Van Gerwen and Wright set to lock horns in the singles.
Defending champions Price and Clayton remain the favourites to retain their crown, while top seeds England are targeting a first World Cup title since 2016.
Whitlock and Heta are desperate to honour the memory of Kyle Anderson by leading Australia to a fairytale triumph, with Northern Ireland, Germany and Austria also eyeing maiden successes.
Stay with us for the conclusion of the World Cup of Darts – live coverage continues with another bumper double session from Jena on Sunday September 12. Join us from 12pm and 6pm on Sky Sports Arena to see who is crowned champion.