Taylor sets sights on Lewis after easing to Premier League win over Whitlock
22:14 GMT, 26 April 2012
Phil Taylor is desperate to play Adrian Lewis in the Premier League final after thrashing Simon Whitlock in Liverpool.
'The Power' bounced back from his defeat to Jackpot last week with a comfortable 8-3 win over the Aussie before he called out the reigning world champion.
He said: 'I would love to play Lewis in the final because he has been giving me a lot of stick. I really want to win the Premier League – I don’t want to make the numbers up or go out at the semi-final.
Got my eye on you: Phil Taylor wants to face Adrian Lewis in the final
'It is the best Premier League I have ever played in and it is still wide open.'
Whitlock started well and took an early 3-1 lead thanks to heavy scoring and a 161 checkout in the fourth leg.
But Taylor came roaring back in style to take the next seven legs with an average of 104 to seal an 8-3 win.
Meanwhile, Lewis squandered a 7-5 lead against Gary Anderson as he was forced to settle for a point.
'Jackpot' remains in fourth place as the race for a semi-final berth draws to a close but the Scot’s hopes of retaining are now over.
Anderson exploited Lewis’ early double trouble to take a 2-0 lead. The world champion hit back, though, with a 170 checkout on his way to levelling at 2-2.
The next two legs went against the throw before Lewis moved 6-3 clear as it was Anderson’s turn to struggle on the doubles.
But the Scot didn’t give up and a mini slump from Lewis allowed Anderson to the next two legs and close in to 6-5 behind.
Blew it: Lewis had to settle for a draw against Gary Anderson
'Jackpot' then went close to a nine-dart finish as he moved 7-5 ahead as he looked good for two points.
But another blip from Lewis let the 'Flying Scotsman' in again and Anderson grabbed a well-deserved draw.
In the first match of the evening, James Wade recovered from 7-4 down to earn a point against Kevin Painter.
Painter raced into a 4-1 lead and maintained his lead throughout the match before missing his chance to seal victory.
The Artist should have finished the match in the 12th leg but Wade capitalised on his inability to finish as 'The Machine' snatched a point.
Elsewhere, Raymond van Barneveld stayed in contention for a semi-final spot with a 7-7 draw against Andy Hamilton.
Barney fought back from 4-2 down to secure a draw and retain fifth place with just two matches remaining.
The Dutchman takes on Anderson next week before his clash with Wade in week 14. That match in Newcastle between Barney and 'The Machine' could decide which of the two qualifies for finals night at The O2 Arena on May 17.