DAVE CHISNALL caused a sensation on the opening day of the Singapore Darts Masters, in association with Singha Beer and Weston's Cider, with a 10-6 win over Phil Taylor on Friday, as Michael van Gerwen, James Wade and Simon Whitlock joined him in the semi-finals of the World Series of Darts event.
Taylor had travelled to Singapore on the back of claiming a record seventh successive World Matchplay title last month, but paid for missed doubles as Chisnall recorded a 10-6 win from their quarter-final.
Chisnall led 2-0 and 4-2 early on, before Taylor capitalised on a string of misses from the world number eight as he cut the gap to 4-3.
The roles were reversed, though, in the next two legs as Chisnall finished 82 and 76 on tops to take advantage of misses from Taylor, and he also won the next three legs to move 9-3 up.
Taylor, staring defeat in the face, hit back with legs of 14, 13 and 14 darts to reduce the gap to 9-6 and threaten a fightback as Chisnall began to wobble.
Taylor also landed a 180, his fourth, in the game's 16th leg, but missed two further darts at doubles to allow Chisnall in to take out 112 on tops to complete a memorable win.
"I'm delighted, over the moon," said Chisnall. "I started quite well; my scoring was good at the beginning and I was hitting my finishes well.
"My finishing was my strong point but I scored quite well and that gave me the chances. When I went 9-3 up I just froze and thought 'I'm going to win this'.
"I had six legs to win one and so I was thinking that it didn't matter how I play, I'll win one. Phil gave me the shot at 112 at the end and I took it."
Chisnall will now face Australian star Whitlock in the semi-finals, having claimed a narrow 10-8 win when they last met in a televised event in the Dubai Darts Masters in May.
"Me and Simon always have cracking matches," he added. "I've just beaten one of the best players in the world so there's no reason that I can't win this now."
Whitlock powered into the semi-finals with a 10-6 win over Raymond van Barneveld in a see-saw contest which saw the lead change hands four times before the world number four prevailed.
Premier League Darts champion van Barneveld took out 116 early on as he came from a leg down to move ahead, only for Whitlock to take a 4-3 lead.
A second 13-darter of the game from van Barneveld saw him level in the eighth, and after Whitlock posted a 180 as he moved 5-4 up, the Dutchman levelled by hitting two maximums in an 11-darter before punishing missed doubles from his opponent to lead 6-5.
Whitlock, though, took the next two to regain the lead at 7-6 and finished a key 114 checkout with a 'Shanghai' combination on the 19 bed of treble, single and double 19 as he took a two-leg cushion for the first time.
Van Barneveld posted a maximum in the next as he battled back, but two missed doubles proved crucial as Whitlock finished 100 to move 9-6 up and then hit tops to complete the win.
"I feel great after winning that," said Whitlock. "I started a bit slowly but I played well towards the end of the match.
"There wasn't a lot in the match, but Raymond missed a couple of doubles and I hit a few good finishes which turned the course of the game. I'm feeling pretty good now going into the semis."
World Champion Michael van Gerwen sealed his 10-4 win over Andy Hamilton with a superb 164 checkout as he progressed to a semi-final against left-hander Wade.
Van Gerwen, making his first outing since losing in the World Matchplay final to Taylor and subsequently marrying partner Daphne, was punished for a slow opening as Hamilton won the first leg.
The world number one, though, replied with finishes of 68 and 108 in a clinical reply and landed two 180s as he took a 3-1 cushion.
Hamilton finished 80 and 105 as he pulled back to trail just 4-3, but van Gerwen won the next four legs - twice punishing missed doubles from his opponent and landing the bull for a 12-darter in another leg - as he moved 8-3 up.
Hamilton hit a 180 and double ten as he responded, but van Gerwen took out 78 on tops to lead 9-4 before sealing the win in style by finishing 164 on the bull.
"It was difficult at the beginning but I got into the game and it was a good win," said van Gerwen. "I tried really hard and at times it went well, but I need to find a bit more form and I'll get that as the tournament goes on.
"I feel good. I've had a great honeymoon but I want to win more tournaments now and that's what I'm in Singapore to do."
Wade, meanwhile, impressed as he averaged 100.65 and finished 71 percent of his chances at at double in his memorable 10-4 win over Peter Wright.
Wade opened the game with a 13-dart leg and traded 14-darters with Wright before finishing double five, tops, 121 on the bull and 96 on double 18 to move 6-1 up in a brilliant opening to the contest.
Wright finished 118 and double 18 to take the next two, but was punished by two misses at double eight in the tenth leg as Wade moved 7-3 up and then finished tops and 101 to lead 9-3.
Wright took out 93 as he kept his hopes alive, but Wade ended any chance of a fightback as he took out 140 to seal his place in the last four.
"It's a good win for me and I'll take that," said Wade. "To win a tournament like this I've got to play a lot better, but it's a good start."
The Singapore Darts Masters, in association with Singha Beer and Weston's Cider, will conclude on Saturday with the semi-finals and final at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.