Wizard of Oz books place in last eight

LONDON: Former Cessnock bricklayer Simon Whitlock lived up to his nickname and produced some final-set wizardry to surge into the quarter-finals of the world darts championship in London.

The man dubbed the "Wizard of Oz" edged into the final eight with a seven-set win over Dave Chisnall.

Whitlock has never won the world championship but was runner-up in 2010 and is desperate to taste success.

Trailing by two legs in the deciding set, the pony-tailed thrower claimed three consecutive legs to prevail in dramatic circumstances.

A 152 checkout in the last set turned the match and laid the platform for Whitlock to seal a 4-3 result.

Although Whitlock always led the encounter, Chisnall was on track for an incredible comeback.

Whitlock said he produced his best when it counted, something he'll need to continue in the quarters against five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld.

"That's probably my best. Under pressure, what a fantastic finish. I needed that so bad," Whitlock said.

"I tell you when he went 3-2 up in that last set, I thought I've got to pull out something special and I did."

Two-time world champion Adrian Lewis booked his place in the quarters at Alexandra Palace with a 4-2 win over Kevin Painter.

Michael Van Gerwen overcame injuries to both feet to reach the quarters with a 4-1 win over Colin Lloyd.

Van Barneveld booked his date with Whitlock by sweeping aside Gary Anderson 4-0.

James Wade had a straight-sets win over Holland's Vincent van der Voort and will meet Wes Newton, a 4-1 victor over Mark Walsh. AAP




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