Rob Cross got back to winning ways with victory over Peter Wright after a brace of defeats in the opening two rounds.
Cross clocked a hard-fought 7-4 win, but punters were treated to extra entertainment when Wright refused to shake hands with the PDC World Champion.
Bemused Cross could not fathom Wright’s problem, but insisted he’d chat with the defeated Scot before the league hit Germany for a 12,000 sell-out show at the Mercedes-Benz Arena tonight.
The jolly abroad follows the success of Rotterdam last year, when 10,000 buoyant fans packed out the Ahoy Arena for a rowdy night to remember.
With a win finally under his belt, Englishman Cross squares up to Raymond van Barneveld in Berlin – the Dutchman looking to recover after a 7-4 defeat to Simon Whitlock last time out.
Unlikely table-topper Whitlock is now three from three after a trio of authoritative performances. An initial big outsider to take the Premier League crown, he’s been dramatically cut in price following his winning run and has a mouthwatering tie against fellow invincible Michael Smith in Berlin this week.
While Whitlock and Smith are dazzling at the top, Gerwyn Price and Mensur Suljovic do battle to find their first win of the season at the bottom of the table. The latter has lost all three of his matches so far while Welshman Price has mustered one defeat and two draws – including a most recent 6-6 stalemate with Daryl Gurney. Price has achieved these two draws after coming back from 5-1 down on both occasions, this time ‘The Iceman’ will be hoping for a fast start rather than another night of playing catch-up.
Gurney is another looking for his first win of the season but could be hard pushed to find it against defending Premier League champion Michael van Gerwen in Berlin.
The imposing Dutchman took apart Gary Anderson in Newcastle but remains third-place in the league behind Whitlock and Smith after an uncharacteristic defeat to Peter Wright.
The ‘Green Machine’ got back on track by opening up an early 2-0 lead over Anderson before his rival replied to level things up after the first four legs. Anderson then clinched an extraordinary fifth leg with a brilliant 170 checkout.
Not content with facing defeat again, MVG fought back to average 110.62 and landed seven maximums to overcome his Scottish rival 7-3. With both players averaging over 110, only the second time this has ever happened in Premier League history, this was truly a match of the highest quality.
Anderson has a chance to recover against Peter Wright in a mid-table clash tonight.
Key stats from Week 3:
Highest Checkout 170 (Gary Anderson)
Highest 3 Dart Average 110.79 (Gary Anderson)
Most 180’s 7 (Michael van Gerwen)
Total 180’s 32
|3||Michael van Gerwen||3||2||0||1||7||4|
|5||Raymond van Barneveld||3||1||1||1||-1||3|
The show heads back to the UK on March 1 when the fifth round is held in Exeter’s Westpoint Arena.
Night Five – March 1
Westpoint Arena, Exeter
Gary Anderson v Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney v Peter Wright
Mensur Suljovic v Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld v Michael Smith
Simon Whitlock v Gerwyn Price
Night Six – March 8
First Direct Arena, Leeds
Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock
Gerwyn Price v Raymond van Barneveld
Peter Wright v Mensur Suljovic
Gary Anderson v Daryl Gurney
Rob Cross v Michael Smith
Night Seven – March 15
Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
Michael Smith v Peter Wright
Simon Whitlock v Daryl Gurney
Mensur Suljovic v Rob Cross
Gerwyn Price v Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld v Gary Anderson