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World Darts Championship 2020/21 Day 12: Afternoon Session preview and order of play

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Van Gerwen denies Cullen in World Championship classic as nine-dart Wade bows out to Bunting

World Darts Championship 2020/21 Day 12: Evening Session preview and order of play

Jamie Shaw in World Darts Championship 29 Dec 2020
Top seed MVG aims to continue his charge (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The Third Round draws to a close at the World Darts Championship on Tuesday night, before the opening two Last 16 ties get underway.

Just one place in the Fourth Round remains up for grabs at Alexandra Palace as the £2.5 million show-piece enters its business end.

World number seven James Wade became the latest big name to bow out earlier in the day as he squandered a two-set lead in a 4-2 defeat to Stephen Bunting despite hitting a nine-dart finish.

Eighth seed Dave Chisnall will be looking to avoid joining Wade through the Ally Pally exit door when he takes on Dutch ace Danny Noppert.

Chisnall is making his tenth William Hill World Championship appearance, having twice reached the Quarter-Finals, and was beaten in a classic by Jeffrey De Zwaan at the Last 32 stage 12 months ago.

An eight-time major finalist, ‘Chizzy’ has reached a ProTour event final this year as well as the Semi-Finals of the World Grand Prix.

He opened up with a 3-1 victory over Keegan Brown with a solid 97 average and will look to draw upon his trademark scoring power against the former Lakeside finalist.

Noppert, the number 25 seed, is making his third consecutive PDC World Championship appearance as he bids to reach the Last 16 for the first time.

Runner-up in last year’s World Series Finals, ‘Noppie’ battled his way past South African debutant Cameron Carolissen 3-1 in Round Two but will require a vast improvement on his match average of just 80.5.

World number one Michael van Gerwen steps up his pursuit of a fourth world title with a show-down against in-form Joe Cullen in the final match of the night.

Van Gerwen, who won last month’s Players Championship Finals to end an eight-month wait for a televised title, laid down an immediate marker by averaging 109 in his 3-1 win over Ryan Murray before Christmas.

He then picked up from where he left off by whitewashing a helpless Ricky Evans 4-0 with a 106.8 average to his opponent’s 100.6.

World Champion in 2014, 2017 and 2019, ‘Mighty Mike’ boasts a superb record of consistency at Ally Pally, having reached at least the Semi-Final stage in seven of his last eight appearances.

Cullen, meanwhile, defeated Van Gerwen in September’s European Matchplay final to pick up one of his two ranking titles this season.

The Bradford ace has banished his miserable record in this competition spanning a decade by reaching the Last 16 for the first time with a 3-0 win over Wayne Jones and an epic sudden death success over Jonny Clayton.

Gabriel Clemens’ reward for knocking out reigning champion Peter Wright is a mouth-watering clash with Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski.

Clemens pulled off the biggest win of his career as he knocked out the world number two in a dramatic sudden death leg to become the first German player ever to reach this stage of the World Championship.

The world number 31, who dispatched Nico Kurz 3-1 in Round Two, finds himself in a wide open section of the draw and will be determined to follow up his stunning performance of 48 hours ago.

Ratajski is also through to the Last 16 at Ally Pally for the first time and is yet to drop a set following dominant wins over Ryan Joyce and Simon Whitlock.

The world number 15, a former BDO World Masters champion, has won all five of his previous meetings with ‘The German Giant’, including 12-10 success in this year’s World Matchplay.

The action gets underway from 6pm GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of seven sets, best of five legs per set.

In a change from previous World Darts Championship rules to reduce the possibility of sessions over-running, there will be no tie-break in any match. Should any deciding set reach two-all, the fifth leg would be the final leg.

WATCH THE WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIP STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

William Hill World Darts Championship 2020/21 Schedule

Tuesday December 29

Evening Session

6.15pm Dave Chisnall v Danny Noppert (RD3)
7.30pm Gabriel Clemens v Krzysztof Ratajski (RD4)
8.45pm Michael van Gerwen v Joe Cullen (RD4)