Grand Slam of Darts: Anderson defies injury to progress, Aspinall and Cross also move through
Gary Anderson denied a 102 average from Ryan Searle to claim victory in their winner-takes-all clash and qualify for the knockout stage of the Grand Slam of Darts.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ had been struggling with a knee injury, but hit 5 of his 6 darts at doubles on the way to a 5-3 win and second spot in Group B, which could set up a clash with world number one Michael van Gerwen.
Rob Cross also hit form at the Ricoh Arena against a similarly excellent performance, from Luke Humphries, as he ran out a 5-2 victor with an average of 100.
‘Rapid’ Ricky Evans hit six 180s against Nathan Aspinall, but could only pin one double from 11 and ‘The Asp’ took advantage, winning 5-1 to move through at Evans’ expense.
That could mean another enticing second-round game as Aspinall could play two-time champion Gerwyn Price in the last 16.
The final all-or-nothing meeting was between Jermaine Wattimena and Damon Heta, and it didn’t have the quality scoring of the other three, but it was a very tense affair.
The Australian missed two darts to win 5-3, before ‘Machine Gun’ gave himself a great chance in the decider but couldn’t take the opportunity, allowing Heta to progress.
The man of the tournament so far, Dimitri Van den Bergh averaged over 100 for the third game running in a 5-1 defeat of Wayne Warren to finish top of Group H with just three legs conceded.
Czech youngster Adam Gawlas impressed once again, but it wasn’t enough to pick up a first win of the week as Simon Whitlock came from 4-0 down to beat him 5-4 and make it six points from six.
Justin Pipe’s frustrating Grand Slam culminated in a lengthy final leg in a 5-2 defeat to Dave Chisnall, which the Morecambe thrower won in 25 darts to come out on top 5-2.
Two-time finalist James Wade continued his incredible finishing in Group F, now at 58% after three matches, to beat Glen Durrant 5-2 and continue the Premier League champion’s dismal month.
Groups A, C, E and G play to a conclusion on Thursday evening.
2020 GRAND SLAM OF DARTS
Wednesday, 18 November
Simon Whitlock 5-4 Adam Gawlas (B)
Dave Chisnall 5-2 Justin Pipe (D)
James Wade 5-2 Glen Durrant (F)
Dimitri Van den Bergh 5-1 Wayne Warren (H)
Jermaine Wattimena 4-5 Damon Heta (F)
Gary Anderson 5-3 Ryan Searle (B)
Nathan Aspinall 5-1 Ricky Evans (H)
Rob Cross 5-3 Luke Humphries (D)
Thursday, 19 November (7pm GMT)
José de Sousa v Lisa Ashton (C)
Michael Smith v Krzysztof Ratajski (C)
Jonny Clayton v Mikuru Suzuki (G)
Gerwyn Price v Ryan Joyce (G)
Ian White v Dirk van Duijvenbode (E)
Peter Wright v Devon Petersen (E)
Gabriel Clemens v Adam Hunt (A)
Michael van Gerwen v Joe Cullen (A)
(Featured Image: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)