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MICHAEL VAN GERWEN secured his place in the Betway Premier League Play-Offs and moved ahead of Phil Taylor at the top of the league table with a brilliant win over James Wade in Birmingham as Gary Anderson and Peter Wright both picked up three points on Thursday night.

With Taylor^s 12-game unbeaten run being ended by Peter Wright in the opening fixture at The Barclaycard Arena, van Gerwen capitalised as he swept past James Wade 7-1 with an average of 108, clinically finishing seven doubles from nine attempts.

The Dutchman took command by claiming the first four legs without reply, and though Wade rallied in leg five, the world number one took the next three to extend his unbeaten run to 13 matches since his opening-night defeat to the left-hander.

"I think I played really well and it^s great to be back on top of the table," said van Gerwen, who is ahead of Taylor on leg difference. "Any shot James gave me tonight I took out and it was a good average so I^m really pleased with this.

"It puts the pressure back on Phil again. He made a mistake when he lost but you always want to be top of the table. I had to do really well to catch Phil and I took advantage, and I hope I can hold this position now."

Reigning Premier League champion Anderson defeated Raymond van Barneveld 7-5 in his opening game of the night in Birmingham - ending the Dutchman^s Play-Off hopes - before returning to the stage to draw with Wright as he put one foot into the Play-Offs on 18 points.

Anderson now sits four points clear of Wade and Wright with two matches remaining as he continues his challenge to retain the coveted title.

"At this stage any point is worth it^s weight in gold so I^ll take three out of four," said Anderson. "I pinched it against Barney and then I was 5-3 up against Peter but the wheels came off a little at the end, and he stuck in there and took his chance at the end.

"I^m still in a good position and I^m not going to rest on my laurels and I^ll be trying to win the last two games to make sure I^m in the Play-Offs."

Wright kicked off his double-header with a superb display to defeat Taylor 7-4 as the 16-time World Champion suffered defeat for the first time since the opening night of the season, despite averaging over 106 per visit in a high-quality contest.

Taylor landed a ten-dart finish in the game, but Wright followed up early checkouts of 121 and 104 by winning four of the final five legs for the win as he ended the game with seven doubles from just eight attempts.

Wright later battled back from 5-3 down to draw with Anderson, leaving him three points adrift of fourth-placed Adrian Lewis going into the final two league nights.

"I wanted both wins because that would have helped me out but I^m happy with three points," said Wright. "I showed a lot of bottle to do what I^ve done tonight against two great players.

"To play the 16-time World Champion and get the win was special, and I had to dig deep and work hard. I^ll do my best to win my last two games and I^ll see what happens."

Lewis, meanwhile, consolidated fourth place with a 7-2 defeat of Robert Thornton, with the two-time World Champion bouncing back from his double defeat in Bournemouth a week ago with a composed performance.

"It was a massive game tonight," admitted Lewis. "I had to beat Robert tonight and I got up there and did the job. He^s been playing well recently so I had to be ready for him and I turned up well.

"I felt comfortable and I thought my finishing was great when it needed to be so I^m pretty happy with that. I took advantage and I was pretty clinical."

The Betway Premier League continues next Thursday with Night 14 at The Manchester Arena with four key fixtures which include the all-Dutch battle between van Gerwen and van Barneveld and Taylor^s clash with Lewis.

Tickets for the league night in Manchester are still available by calling 0844 847 8000 or online via

Betway Premier League
Night 13 - April 28
The Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
Peter Wright 7-4 Phil Taylor
Raymond van Barneveld 5-7 Gary Anderson
Adrian Lewis 7-2 Robert Thornton
James Wade 1-7 Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright 6-6 Gary Anderson
Best of 12 legs

Peter Wright v Phil Taylor
1-0 - Double ten gives Wright the opening leg.
1-1 - Taylor finishes 68 on tops to level.
1-2 - Taylor takes out double 12 to break throw and move ahead.
2-2 - Taylor opens with a 180, but Wright finishes 121 on the bull to break back as he squares the game.
3-2 - Taylor leaves 32 after 12 darts in his bid to break throw, but Wright checks out 104 as he moves back in front.
3-3 - Taylor scores 131, 180 and 174 to leave 16 before pinning double eight for a brilliant ten-dart finish to level.
4-3 - Wright finishes 64 in two darts on double eight to edge back ahead.
5-3 - Taylor misses a dart at tops to finish 80 - his first off-target double in the match - and Wright steps in to take out 71 on tops for a break to open up a two-leg lead.
6-3 - Wright hits his first maximum of the game before finishing 68 on double four to secure a minimum of a point.
6-4 - Taylor responds with a 180, his third, and lands a third-dart double four as he keeps alive his hopes of claiming a draw.
7-4 - Wright finishes 71 once again to claim a big win, inflicting Taylor^s first defeat since the opening night of the season in the process.

Raymond van Barneveld v Gary Anderson
0-1 - Anderson lands the game^s first 180 before finishing 68 to break throw.
0-2 - Anderson opens with another maximum before punishing van Barneveld for two misses at double 12 by finishing tops.
1-2 - The reigning champion kicks off with his third 180 of the game, but misses double ten to finish 90 as van Barneveld finishes 71 to respond.
2-2 - van Barneveld returns from a missed bullseye to land double eight to level, after Anderson misses a dart at tops for a 110 checkout.
2-3 - van Barneveld misses tops to take out 80, and Anderson hits the bed at the third time of asking for another break of throw to regain the lead.
3-3 - van Barneveld finishes 132 with a brilliant bullseye finish to level once again.
4-3 - Double four sees van Barneveld edge ahead for the first time.
4-4 - Anderson takes out 74 to level.
5-4 - van Barneveld hits a 180 and double 16 for a superb 13-darter to move back ahead.
5-5 - Anderson lands double ten - with his sixth dart to win the leg - as he squares the contest once again.
5-6 - van Barneveld misses five darts at doubles, allowing Anderson back in on double five for a break of throw which secures the World Champion at least a draw.
5-7 - Anderson seals an important victory by pinning double top for a 13-darter.

Adrian Lewis v Robert Thornton
1-0 - Double 14 sees Lewis claim the opening leg.
2-0 - Lewis breaks throw, replying to two 180s from Thornton with a maximum of his own before punishing three missed doubles from the Scot to double his lead with a 72 finish.
3-0 - Lewis lands tops to win a third leg.
3-1 - Thornton takes out 60 on tops to get off the mark
4-1 - Lewis takes out 111 on tops to regain his three-leg lead.
5-1 - Lewis takes out 81 on double 12, punishing Thornton^s missed doubles, as he breaks throw for a second time.
6-1 - Double top secures Lewis at least a point.
6-2 - Lewis misses a dart at tops for victory, and Thornton lands double four to keep his hopes alive.
7-2 - Tops sees Lewis seal a key victory.

James Wade v Michael van Gerwen
0-1 - van Gerwen fires in a 180 before finishing 87 for an 11-darter to break throw immediately.
0-2 - Double 16 sees the world number one double his lead.
0-3 - van Gerwen claims another break of throw by taking out 99 on double 18.
0-4 - van Gerwen opens with a 180 and takes out 124 on the bull to continue his brilliant opening.
1-4 - Wade kicks off with a 180 before finishing tops to get off the mark.
1-5 - The Dutchman finishes 56 on tops to regain his four-leg cushion.
1-6 - van Gerwen lands double 18 for a 14-darter to ensure that he will take at least a draw - and also seals a Play-Off place in the process of extending his unbeaten run to 13 matches.
1-7 - Wade lands a 180 with what proves to be his final visit, as van Gerwen takes out 81 on double 13 for a 12-darter to move top of the table on leg difference ahead of Phil Taylor.

Peter Wright v Gary Anderson
0-1 - Anderson lands double 12 to break throw immediately.
1-1 - Wright responds with a break of his own by matching his rival^s double 12 finish.
1-2 - Anderson takes out 116 on tops to claim yet another break of throw.
2-2 - Wright levels with a fourth break of throw in the game as he lands double four.
3-2 - Wright lands a second 180 as he holds throw by hitting double 16 to move ahead for the first time.
3-3 - Anderson fires in his first maximum before taking out 81 on double 12 to square the contest.
3-4 - The reigning champion lands two 140s before hitting tops to break once more and regain the lead.
3-5 - A two-dart 68 finish sees Anderson move two legs clear for the first time in the game.
4-5 - Wright responds by finishing 98 on double 19.
5-5 - A missed bullseye from Anderson allows Wright in on double 16 to level.
5-6 - Anderson raises the pressure on his rival with a 177 score, and three missed doubles from Wright allow Anderson in to finish 56 on tops to secure at least a point.
6-6 - Wright opens with a 180, his fourth of the game, before finishing 96 on double 18 for a 12-darter to claim a draw - keeping himself in the Play-Off hunt.

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