PDC World Cup 2012
The second edition of the World Cup of Darts was played in February 2012 at the Sporthalle Hamburg. This time all 24 countries did make it. Defending champion Netherlands was represented with Raymond van Barneveld and Vincent van der Voort. Co Stompé had dropped below Van der Voort on the ranking and thus was replaced by him. England again were the big favourites. After the first edition where Phil Taylor and James Wade had failed, this time Phil Taylor was joined by world champion Adrian Lewis. They were the numbers 1 and 2 in the world.
The eight highest ranked countries were given a bye in the first round, the remaining 16 countries participated in the first round against each other. The countries 9 to 13 (including Canada and the U.S.) all reached the second round. The countries 14 to 16 all lost surprisingly; Spain, Finland and Gibraltar were defeated by South Africa, Croatia and Denmark.
In the second round, the eight highest ranked countries also took the oche. Each match consisted of two singles matches and a pairs match. The number one ranked team of England had it’s work cut out against Canada. After Ken MacNeil beat Phil Taylor and John Part defeated Adrian Lewis, Canada took a 2-0 lead. By winning the pairs match and the sudden-death leg England still went through to the quarterfinals. Netherlands played Austria in the second round. After the score was 1-1, Van Barneveld and Van der Voort won the pairs match and qualified for the quarters. Surprising exits in the second round were hosts Germany and Scotland who lost in a sudden-death leg to South Africa.
Netherlands played against the Northern Irish team of Brendan Dolan and Michael Mansell in the quarterfinals. Close, but great victories in all three matches gave Van Barneveld and Van der Voort a 4-0 victory into the semi-finals. The two highest ranked countries, England and Australia beat America and Belgium, which meant they were also in the last four. The most dramatic match was between Wales and South Africa. The pairs match had to make the decision, after both countries had won one singles match. In the last leg Devon Peterson could have thrown South Africa in the semi-finals, but a miscalculation meant he hit the wrong double. Wales took advantage and still went of the stage as the winner.
The semi-finals consisted of four singles matches and a pairs match. In the match between England and Wales Phil Taylor lost another match, this time to Richie Burnett. Because Adrian Lewis won both his games and because Taylor took revenge with a 4-0 win over Mark Webster, England was 3-1 up after the single matches. After the pairs match was won 4-2 England clinched a place in the final. In the other semi-final Netherlands had a hard time against Australia. Vincent van der Voort lost both his matches against Paul Nicholson and Simon Whitlock. The 4-0 victory from Van Barneveld against Nicholson kept the Dutch hopes alive, but a clear 4-0 defeat in the pairs match ensured that the title holder was out and the two highest ranked countries were in the final.
That final between England and Australia was one not to forget. England came out the gates quickly. In the first match Taylor beat Nicholson 7-4 and after Lewis beat Whitlock 7-5, Taylor also beat Whitlock 7-6 for a 3-0 lead in the match. Thanks to Nicholson Australia kept their dreams alive. He won his match against Lewis 7-4, so the pairs match would make the decision. In that match Whitlock and Nicholson played very strong and took a 7-4 victory. This victory meant the score was now 3-3, and so the final would be decided in a sudden death leg. A leg that would be talked about for a long time afterwards. Paul Nicholson was the first player to get darts at a double, but he wasted two darts for the match. Then it was Phil Taylor’s turn, who also missed two darts for the title. Then Simon Whitlock came to the oche, history repeated itself because Whitlock also missed two match darts. Eventually Adrian Lewis, who had already put away his darts, hit the double five to make sure that the second edition of the World Cup of Darts was won by Team England.
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