Adrian Lewis defeats Raymond van Barneveld at World Darts Championship
By James Dielhenn
Last Updated: 03/01/16 3:46pm
Adrian Lewis fended off another Raymond van Barneveld comeback to book a spot in the World Darts Championship final.
The two-time Alexandra Palace winner roared into a 5-0 lead in the first-to-six semi-final on Saturday night and, although Van Barneveld threatened a fightback with three sets in a row, Lewis prevailed 6-3.
Van Barneveld had previously defeated Michael Smith from 3-0 down but couldn't repeat the trick against the unforgiving Lewis, who will now play Gary Anderson or Jelle Klaasen in Sunday's final.
Van Barneveld's vulnerabilities first reared their head at the culmination of the opening set as a string of darts at doubles went astray and gifted Lewis a 1-0 lead. A 161 checkout from Van Barneveld levelled the second set but it still went in Lewis' favour after he finished from 100.
Lewis' arrows weren't always as crisp as he would have hoped in the third set but he opened a 3-0 lead - the same seemingly unassailable margin that Barney overcame against Michael Smith - having won eight out of the previous 10 legs.
Van Barneveld rallied with another 161 finish but a 12-darter from Lewis thwarted him, and the Stoke thrower held his nerve in a tense end to the fourth leg to extend his advantage.
The Dutchman's fans chanted 'Barney Army' passionately but Lewis wasn't in the mood to care, as he edged a close fifth set to prevent Barney from registering on the scoreboard. At this point, the five-time world champion appeared to be a defeated man.
But he valiantly fought and nailed a 121 checkout to make it 5-1 and prevent the whitewash. He wasn't done there either, taking the seventh set as Lewis threw for the match.
Lewis appeared agitated as Barney strung together some fabulous finishing to put another set on the board with the help of a 100 checkout, taking the score to 5-3.
Lewis then increased the tensions by missing darts for the match but would eventually find his target and end Van Barneveld's brave challenge
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