sport

Pure wizardry from Whitlock

Simon Whitlock turned on the style in the Players Championship Finals with a 10-1 romp against Ronnie Baxter.

Whitlock averaged 109.54 and hit a 170 checkout in sweeping past Baxter in the second round of the 250,000 event.

Whitlock's brilliant display was his best-ever in a televised event and set up a quarter-final clash with Gary Anderson on Sunday, as he bids to follow up his European Championship victory with a second major title.

Two-time champion Phil Taylor remains on course to complete a Players Championship Finals hat-trick following his 10-7 defeat of World Champion Adrian Lewis.

Lewis had become a father for the second time in the early hours of Saturday, having dashed back to Stoke following his controversial first round win over Richie Burnett before returning to Somerset to take on Taylor.

The world number one took the first four legs in sensational style before Lewis hit back to 4-3, and the 27-year-old took out finishes of 130 and 121 to stay in touch at 8-6 before Taylor sealed the win.

"I tried my best but full credit to Phil, he deserved to win and after everything that's happened in the last couple of days I was proud to push him there," said Lewis. "I've had about five hours sleep in the last two days but once I got up on stage the adrenaline kicked in."

Taylor now plays Andy Hamilton, who booked his place in the quarter-finals with a fine 10-8 win over Michael van Gerwen, who led 4-0 early on but was punished for missed doubles as the World Championship finalist battled to victory.

"Michael's playing great darts at the moment and it's a brilliant result for me," said Hamilton. "At 4-1 I had to stick in there and I won the next session 4-1 to level it, and once I got into the game I knew I could push Michael.

"To be in another big quarter-final shows that I'm worth of my position in the top eight, but I want to go on from here and win the tournament tomorrow."

Taunton's Justin Pipe delighted the Somerset crowd with a battling 10-8 win over Brendan Dolan, who hit back from 6-0 down to trail only 9-8 at one stage before the number five seed sealed the win.

The other quarter-final sees emerging Belgian Kim Huybrechts play colourful Peter Wright following their wins over Michael Smith and Wayne Jones respectively.

The destiny of the 60,000 title will be decided on Sunday, with the quarter-finals being held in the afternoon session before the semi-final and final are held on Sunday evening in front of a 4,000-plus crowd at the seaside resort.