Simon Whitlock toasted the best checkout of his career after making the PDC World Championship quarter-finals.
The Australian, who now lives in Waterlooville, edged into the last eight of darts’ most prestigious competition after a nail-biting 4-3 victory over Dave Chisnall yesterday.
In a topsy-turvy battle at Alexandra Palace, fourth-seed Whitlock led the match three times, only for Chisnall to level on each occasion to force a deciding set.
Whitlock led 2-0 in that one, only for Chisnall, seeded 12, to hit back and take the next three to go a leg away from the match.
But Whitlock put together a crucial run of three straight legs, which included a sensational 152 checkout, to deflate his opponent and come out on top.
After the victory, the 43-year-old felt his match-saving checkout to swing the momentum in his favour was the finest of his career.
Whitlock, who won the European Championship in September, said: ‘It was probably my best. I was under a lot of pressure and it was a fantastic finish.
‘When I fell 3-2 down in the final set I was well aware that I had to produce something special, and I did that with the 152 finish against the darts.
‘Dave’s an excellent player and we’ve had a few tough battles in recent months, and this match was no different.
‘I lead the match three times but could never shake Dave off and I had to dig very deep.’
Whitlock was runner-up in the worlds in 2010 and reached the last four last time out, despite breaking his ankle shortly before the start of the competition.
Asked if this could be his year, he responded: ‘It could be. I’ve done a lot more work than last year.
‘I couldn’t even walk last year so who knows!’
Chisnall conceded he was left stunned by Whitlock’s late heroics.
He said: ‘I felt my scoring was a bit disappointing. I would hit a treble 20 and my next dart would fall into the single one or five.
‘In the sixth leg of the final set I felt like I was definitely going to get a dart to win the match.
‘But the 152 from Simon was a real killer, and I couldn’t come back from that.’
There was no such drama in the final match of the afternoon session in London yesterday as James Wade eased past Vincent van der Voort 4-0.
In an entertaining game, the scoreline flattered Wade, but Van der Voort was guilty of wasting his chances.
Wade will face Wes Newton in the last eight following his 4-1 victory over Mark Walsh.
After edging a tight opening set, Newton won six legs on the bounce to take control of the match and move within one leg of victory.
Walsh avoided the whitewash with victory in the fourth set and had chances to take the fifth, but Newton held his nerve to close out the match.
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