Adrian Lewis defeated Phil Taylor to claim a title in New Zealand
Last Updated: 30/08/15 2:48pm
Adrian Lewis claimed victory in the inaugural TAB Auckland Darts Masters with an incredible 11-10 triumph over Raymond van Barneveld.
The final victory followed up a semi-final win for Lewis over Phil Taylor as he collected his first PDC World Series of Darts accolade.
Lewis had ended Taylor's bid to win a fourth successive World Series of Darts event with a superb 10-9 semi-final win in a game which he never led until hitting the winning double 16.
He then returned to the stage to conest a thrilling final with Van Barneveld, which also went the full distance as the Stoke star bounced back from his defeat in last week's Sydney Darts Masters to finally go all the way.
Lewis hit back from 2-0 down to lead 4-2, and also moved 8-5 and 10-8 ahead only for Van Barneveld to twice level, with the Dutchman taking his tally of 180s for the match to 11 as the game moved into a deciding leg.
With almost 5,000 fans on the edge of their seats at the Trusts Arena, van Barneveld was first to a finish in the final leg only to miss five match darts as Lewis recovered from two misses of his own to steady his nerves and fire in double one for glory.
"This is brilliant and it ranks up there as one of the greatest tournaments I've ever won," said the two-time world champion. "I had a dart to go 9-6 up and missed, and when Raymond got level I thought I'd blown it.
"He was outstanding and it's one of the best performances I've ever seen from him - every time I turned around he seemed to be hitting a 180 and he made it really tough.
This is brilliant and it ranks up there as one of the greatest tournaments I've ever won.
"On that final double I had to stop and, to be honest, I was looking for someone in the crowd to throw the double one for me! I took my time and thankfully it went right in the middle.
"It's very special to be the first winner in New Zealand. Phil Taylor's always said to me about trying to be the first player to win when we go to a new country, and I'm over the moon to be the first winner here in Auckland.
"I've beaten Gary Anderson, Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld in the last three matches and it can't get much tougher than that. It's massive and I think I've done really well.
"I learned from the final in Sydney and my consistency was great. I've had a couple of semi-finals on the World Series, the final last week and now won in Auckland, so I'm really happy with that."
TAB Auckland Darts Masters results
Raymond van Barneveld 10-6 James Wade
Adrian Lewis 10-9 Phil Taylor
Adrian Lewis 11-10 Raymond van Barneveld