Dave Chisnall exited the Unibet Masters at the quarter-final stage after coming out on the wrong end of a classic clash with Michael van Gerwen.
The Morecambe ace followed up Saturday’s 106 average in his last 16 win over Robert Thornton by hitting a Masters record 13 180s and a 108 average against van Gerwen, only to lose 10-9 in a thriller in Milton Keynes on Sunday afternoon.
Chisnall landed nine of those maximums in the game’s opening eight legs, which were shared, before he edged ahead for the first time at 5-4.
However, van Gerwen broke back with a 121 checkout and finished double ten to lead 6-5, with Chisnall firing in three further 180s to counter a 10-darter from the Dutchman as the pair traded legs to leave the scores finely poised at eight-all.
Van Gerwen’s 14-darter moved him 9-8 up before Chisnall traded 180s with his opponent as a 13-dart leg forced a decider, which the world number one took with a 126 checkout.
Van Gerwen ended the game with a 110.28 average, and admitted: “Dave’s a fantastic player and I had to play that well to win the game.
“It was a fantastic match and we pushed each other. We’ve had a lot of great matches but this was maybe the best and I’m so glad that I’m the winner.”
Van Gerwen will now take on Adrian Lewis in the semi-finals on Sunday evening as he bids to win the tournament for the first time.
The evening’s second semi-final will see reigning Premier League champion Raymond van Barneveld take on new World Champion Gary Anderson in another tasty clash.
The £200,000 tournament will conclude in Sunday’s evening session at ArenaMK in Milton Keynes, with the semi-finals to be followed by the final as a new champion is crowned to succeed previous winners Phil Taylor and James Wade.