Van Gerwen and Anderson progress to quarter-finals
Michael van Gerwen produced a scintillating showing in defeating Adrian Lewis while Gary Anderson survived yet another scare and Michael Smith continued to impress.
Van Gerwen – who had dropped just a single set before Thursday’s coverage began – breezed to yet another comfortable victory as he saw off two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis.
Lewis himself averaged over 101 but that was not enough to beat van Gerwen at the peak of his game. ‘Jackpot’ started poorly as his Dutch opponent raced into a 2-0 lead.
A 107 outshot and a 10-dart leg aided Lewis in reducing ‘Mighty Mike’s advantage. The Stoke-on-Trent-based star led 2-1 in the fourth set, but van Gerwen moved himself on the verge of victory win an 11-darter.
The fifth set went the distance, only for van Gerwen to close out a 4-1 victory and book his place in the quarter-finals – where he’ll meet either James Wade or Ryan Joyce.
Gary Anderson survived a massive fright as he battled back from 2-0 and 3-2 down to see off Northumberland’s Chris Dobey.
Dobey really come of age as he equaled the record for the most maximums in a best of seven sets match, though, Anderson eventually had too much for the 28-year-old; closing out a narrow 4-3 victory.
Anderson kicked-off in stunning style with a 123 checkout but Dobey reeled off three of the next four legs to gain a 1-0 advantage. He then doubled his lead courtesy of an 11-darter and three maximums in the set.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ whitewashed Dobey in a one-sided third set before levelling up the affair at two-a-piece with a 15-dart leg.
Dobey fought back from 2-0 down in the fifth set; reeling off three successive legs in 14, 13 and 11 darts, however, two-time World Champion, Anderson, hit tops to send the match the distance.
‘Hollywood’ pinned a 148 outshot as the opening four legs went with throw, only for Anderson to produce the all-important break and eventually hit double six to progress. Dobey missed the big ten towards the latter of stages of the sixth leg; denying himself a chance to keep his World Championship alive. Burnham-on-Sea-based Anderson will take on either Jamie Lewis or Dave Chisnall in the last eight.
Michael Smith was forced to fight back from 1-0 and 2-1 behind as he defeated John Henderson in London. Smith will be looking to better his career-best performance at Alexandra Palace, when, in 2016, he reached the quarter-finals, though, started poorly against ‘The Highlander’, loosing the first set with Henderson’s finishing once again impeccable.
‘Bully Boy’ equalled the scoreline, courtesy of two 14-darters and a 13-dart leg, only for Henderson to covert a 161 checkout and come back from 2-0 behind to regain his advantage.
Smith reeled off set four in just 38 darts without reply, before taking the lead for the first time in match; winning set five 3-1. A whitewash win in the final set ensured the St Helens-based ace’s spot in the fourth round where he’ll face Ryan Searle on Friday.
Devon Petersen reached the last 16 of the World Darts Championship for a second time as he fought back from 1-0 down to deny Steve West in London.
Petersen – who managed to hold on to his tour card for the 2019 campaign courtesy of his victory – lost the opening set of the match but won four of the next five sets to progress to the fourth round.
West comfortably took the opening set and was looking like he was going to steamroll his South African opponent but Petersen levelled the tie at one-a-piece through a scintillating 139 outshot.
The ‘African Warrior’ then overturned West’s advantage; hitting checkouts of 127 and 120 to gain a 2-1 lead. West fought back, however, as he whitewashed Petersen in set four to send the match into a stalemate once again.
The next five legs went with throw, meaning Petersen led once again and moved on the verge of a career-saving victory. He fired in legs of 13, 17 and 19 darts to book his place in the fourth round and set up a clash with Nathan Aspinall – who is now favourite to come through the bottom quarter of the draw, after beating Gerwyn Price earlier in the tournament.
Back-to-back Development Tour winner Luke Humphries sent reigning two-time World Youth Champion Dimitri van den Bergh packing with a 4-1 thrashing of the Belgian youngster.
Humphries clinched the opening set of the match despite van den Bergh pinning finishes of 128 and 147 before doubling his advantage as he fought back from 2-0 down with a trio of 15 darters.
Van den Bergh pulled a set back to reduce the Newbury-based ace’s lead, only to witness Humphries convert a 117 outshot and move one set away from a place in the last 16 for the first time.
The back-to-back Development Tour winner set up a Friday evening meeting with reigning World Champion Rob Cross as he whitewashed van den Bergh in a one-sided fifth set.
Benito van de Pas denied Toni Alcinas a spot in the last 16 of the World Darts Championship as he came through a scrappy affair at Alexandra Palace.
Spain’s Alcinas couldn’t replicate his performance in seeing off world number three Peter Wright as Benito van de Pas progressed to the fourth round and compiled a meeting with Brendan Dolan on Friday.
Van de Pas took an early 2-0 lead in sets, only for his Spanish opponent to level up the match with a crucial dart at double one. The Dutchman took out 149 to regain his advantage before hitting double two to close out a 4-2 win.
The William Hill World Darts Championship will resume on Friday afternoon with James Wade, South Africa’s Devon Petersen and Brendan Dolan all in action.
Reigning World Champion, Rob Cross, will take to the stage on Friday evening. He takes on Luke Humphries as he looks to keep his invincible record at Alexandra Palace alive.
William Hill World Darts Championship
Thursday 28 December 2018
Devon Petersen 4-2 Steve West (R3)
Luke Humphries 4-1 Dimitri van den Bergh (R3)
Michael Smith 4-2 John Henderson (R3)
Benito van de Pas 4-2 Toni Alcinas (R3)
Gary Anderson 4-3 Chris Dobey (R4)
Michael van Gerwen 4-1 Adrian Lewis (R4)