Wright beat Smith in thriller to win second world darts title

UK
Peter Wright
Peter Wright was playing in his third PDC World Darts Championship final

Peter Wright produced a sensational comeback to beat Michael Smith in a thrilling final of the PDC World Darts Championship.

Trailing 5-4 and with Smith two legs up in the 10th set, Wright fought back to win three sets in a row to claim the title.

The Scot, winner in 2020, is only the sixth player to win the title twice.

“Obviously I’m over the moon,” a tearful Wright told Sky Sports. “Me and Mike didn’t perform how we can, I can’t explain what went wrong for 90% of the match. I just kept swapping darts and trying to find something.

“The atmosphere in here was affecting my darts badly, it affected Michael’s as well. It will be Michael’s turn soon.

“We were both playing so bad, we had patches of two or three legs but that was it.

“It was really strange the atmosphere in here tonight, my darts were going everywhere but luckily enough I won.”

The 51-year-old wins £500,000 in prize money and is only £15,250 behind world number one Gerwyn Price in the world darts ranking system.

Playing in his third final, Wright raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to 148 and 124 checkouts but England’s Smith won the third with a superb 167 finish in the third leg to break the Scot’s throw.

With the partisan crowd at the Alexandra Palace in London firmly behind Smith, a critical moment came when Wright missed two darts at the double that would have put him 3-1 up at the first break. Smith, 31, took advantage of Wright’s misses to nail double 10 and level the match at 2-2.

World Matchplay champion Wright came back from the break with a new set of darts and held his throw to go 3-2 up, despite Smith throwing his 72nd 180 of the tournament to break Gary Anderson’s previous record of 71.

Ninth seed Smith then won two straight sets to lead the match for the first time at 4-3 before another crucial moment with the Englishman leading 5-4.

In the 10th set, Wright was two legs down before winning three in a row to level the match again.

That gave the Scot the momentum and he reeled off another three legs without a response to win the 11th set then won two more to move within one leg of victory.

Smith stopped the rout winning the third leg in the 12th set but it was not enough and Wright hit double 12 to win the match and become a two-time world champion.

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