Michael van Gerwen booked his place in the quarter-finals of the PDC World Darts Championship with a 4-1 victory over countryman Dirk van Duijvenbode. ‘Aubergenius’ was left ruing several missed opportunities, as MVG showed just a little bit more ruthlessness.
The three-time world champion seized upon three missed darts on a double to clinch the first set 3-1. Van Duijvenbode racked up a 170 in the first leg of the second set, but once again his doubles were too lax. Van Gerwen was not at his best, but kept his nerve with a double four after two misses at set dart to make it 2-0.
A pair of maximums from ‘The Titan’ showed his class, while pinning his own double four after two missed attempts showed composure. With one set on the board, the 30-year-old tried to build. But Van Gerwen wouldn’t let him back in, even at something less than his best.
A sloppy fourth set started with MVG taking 12 darts to reach 204, but ended with a 180 and a finish on double 12 for 3-1. The experienced former champion closed the show with a Shanghai, saving his best for last to seal his 4-1 win.
Chris Dobey will meet him in the quarter-finals after seeing off 2018 champion Rob Cross 4-2. A thrilling deciding leg in the first set saw both men pin maximums before Cross edged it. Dobey’s consistent scoring in the second saw him sweep it 3-0, with a smart 100 checkout to finish.
Cross came back furiously, pounding in a pair of 180s on the way to a 3-0 win. A spectacular 170 from ‘Hollywood’ saw the temperature of this tie change once again. The momentum carried him to 2-2 in sets.
Cross applied the pressure in the fifth, pinning a 180 before Dobey held his nerve to go 3-2 up by sinking tops. Dobey closed the show by inching out ‘Voltage’ 3-2 in the sixth set to take a 4-2 win and book his date with MVG.
Stephen Bunting grew into his game with Luke Humphries, pulling out some incredible darts in the latter stages of a 4-1 victory. ‘Cool Hand’ lost his cool in the first set, missing nine darts at a double as Bunting beat him 3-1 in legs.
‘The Bullet’ took flight in the second, as the pair swapped maximums. But Bunting’s finishing was always a fair bit better as he went two sets up. The third saw the best of Humphries, who left himself tops in 12 darts to take the set.
Humphries endured eight trebleless visits in the fourth set while ‘The Bullet’ chipped away at him. A brave finish on double three gave him just reward for his efforts. By this point ‘Cool Hand’ looked like a beaten man and Bunting finished the job to seal a 4-1 win.
Afternoon Session Results
Kim Huybrechts 0-4 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Gabriel Clemens 4-1 Alan Soutar
Michael Smith 4-1 Joe Cullen