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World Series Finals 2020 Day Three preview and order of play: Final eight eyeing silverware in Salzburg

Jamie Shaw in World Series Finals 20 Sep 2020
Cross and Smith collide in the Quarter-Finals (Photo by PDC)

The 2020 World Series Finals culminates in Salzburg on Sunday as the eight remaining hopefuls battle it out to be crowned champion.

The World Series Finals is the first PDC event to feature a live crowd since March, with the Salzburgarena welcoming a limited capacity 1,500-strong contingent.

The fans were treated to another enthralling night of action on Saturday which saw seven of the world’s top eight players progress to the final day.

World number one Michael van Gerwen became the only top eight star to crash out at the Last 16 stage as he suffered a fourth defeat in six to his nemesis Glen Durrant.

Durrant, who looks to be heading towards the top eight at a rate of knots, averaged 102.5 in his 6-4 success over MVG and will look to pick up from where he left off when he faces James Wade in Sunday’s afternoon session.

Both players are renowned for their clutch finishing under pressure, and Premier League table-topper Durrant thrashed ‘The Machine’ 16-7 in their only previous televised meeting at the 2019 World Matchplay.

Wade is the only player outside of Van Gerwen to have claimed this title, having done so in 2018, and started strongly in seeing off Jeff Smith 6-3 with a 97 average on Saturday.

Wade is bidding to reach his first televised Semi-Final since the New Zealand Masters last August, while ‘Duzza’ is vying for his fifth since joining the PDC.

Wade is eyeing a second World Series Finals title (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The opening tie of the day sees World Champion Peter Wright take on two-time major winner Daryl Gurney.

Wright was a back-to-back runner-up in this event in 2015 and 2016 and will be determined to go one better in front of his adoring fans for what would be a third televised title of 2020.

The world number two, who was also a winner in both the Summer Series and Autumn Series, averaged 101.5 in a 6-3 win over Damon Heta in Round Two.

His last outing against Gurney saw him produce a first televised nine-darter in the Premier League last month but eventually resulted in an 8-6 defeat despite a 103 average.

After surviving on Judgement Night, Gurney finished bottom of the Phase Two table in the Premier League but looks to have dusted himself down ahead of a busy stage of the season.

The Northern Irishman kicked off with a superb 102.3 average in a 6-2 defeat of New Zealand’s Cody Harris in Round One and has won two of his three televised meetings with ‘Snakebite’ this year.

Another repeat of a recent Premier League clash sees world number three Gerwyn Price take on world number six Nathan Aspinall.

Aspinall recorded back-to-back wins over Price in Milton Keynes on his way to securing a play-off spot, while the Welshman missed out on the top four by just two points.

The former UK Open champion averaged 101 in a 6-1 rout of Darius Labanauskas on Saturday to record a first win in this competition at the second attempt and is now targeting a fourth straight win over the Grand Slam champion.

Price is in the midst of an emphatic 15-game unbeaten run, having followed up successive Autumn Series titles with a 101.5 average in dispatching Vincent van der Voort 6-3.

The Ice Man is now looking to progress to a seventh Semi-Final in his last eleven televised tournament appearances.

The final tie of the afternoon session features a repeat of the 2019 World Matchplay final as Rob Cross takes on Michael Smith.

Both players are looking to bounce back from disappointing ends to their Premier League campaigns, with Cross having suffered elimination at the halfway stage, while Smith went six games without a win and finished seventh.

Cross picked up a confidence-boosting first televised win since March when he whitewashed an out of sorts Steve Beaton 6-0, but knows he will have to improve on a 90 average against a player of Smith’s scoring power.

Smith, meanwhile, overcame Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 with a steady 95.4 average and will be hoping to reach the final of this event for the second time, having finished runner-up in 2018.

The action gets underway from 12pm BST, with Quarter-Final matches to be contested over the best of 19 legs and Semi-Finals and final best of 21.


World Series Finals 2020 Match Schedule

Sunday September 20

Afternoon Session (11.45am-3.30pm)

Peter Wright v Daryl Gurney
Gerwyn Price v Nathan Aspinall
Glen Durrant v James Wade
Michael Smith v Rob Cross

Evening Session (7.15pm-10.30pm)

Wright/Gurney v Price/Aspinall
Durrant/Wade v Smith/Cross