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Simon Whitlock will face Phil Taylor in Sunday evening’s semi-finals after winning a classic battle with Gary Anderson at the Players Championship Finals in Minehead.

Whitlock, who recently won his first PDC major title at the European Championship, remains on course for his second televised triumph after seeing off Anderson in a thrilling encounter on Sunday afternoon.

The Australian made an explosive start to the match, leading 6-1, before his Scottish opponent launched an incredible fightback but ‘The Wizard’ held his nerve to complete a 10-8 success.

“It was a fantastic match,” said Whitlock, whose win will send him above Anderson into the top four in the PDC Order of Merit.

“Gary is a brilliant player and he pushed me all the way. I was nervous on the winning double and I wobbled that one in to be honest.

“I’m looking forward to tonight and I’ll go away and prepare now.

“I don’t mind who I play. I’m happy concentrating on my own game.”

‘The Wizard’ took out 52 to grab an immediate break of throw before posting a lovely 100 checkout to double his lead.

He followed that up with checkouts of 90 and 41 as he raced into a 4-0 lead.

Anderson pulled a leg back but Whitlock restored his four leg advantage with the aid of his first 180.

The Australian ace pegged double four to move further ahead but Anderson took out 99 to break his throw for the first time.

The Scotsman reduced Whitlock’s lead to 6-3 but ‘The Wizard’ conjured up a brilliant eleven dart leg to move four legs clear once again.

Anderson took the eleventh leg before Whitlock’s second maximum helped him close in on a semi-final spot.

Anderson threatened a remarkable comeback as he reeled off three straight legs, which included checkouts of 112 and 136, but Whitlock pinned double nine to stem the tide.

A fanastic 10 darter pulled Anderson to within a leg of the European Champion at 9-8 before ‘The Wizard’ sealed the win on double four.

Whitlock will take on Taylor in the last four after ‘The Power’ came back from 9-5 behind to defeat Andy Hamilton.

The winner will then take on either Kim Huybrechts or Justin Pipe, who face each other in the other semi-final after seeing off Peter Wright and Mervyn King respectively.

By Chris Murphy

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