World Matchplay: Michael van Gerwen and James Wade both cruise through to last eight
Last Updated: 23/07/14 11:19am
Michael van Gerwen: Dutchman will next face Dave Chisnall for a place in the semi-finals
Michael van Gerwen eased into the quarter-finals of the World Matchplay on a night when fellow Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld was knocked out in Blackpool.
'Barney' looked like he had made a wise decision in choosing to use new darts for the second round match against Simon Whitlock when he breezed into a 4-0 lead.
However the Wizard conjured up some magic to get up and running before the break, hitting double tops at the second time of asking, then dominated in the second session to level matters at 5-5.
The pair split the next two legs to remain on level terms but Whitlock then moved through the gears to take four in a row himself, including a 111 finish ending with the bull. He went on to complete an impressive 13-8 win by landing double 10.
Like his compatriots Van Barneveld, Van Gerwen cut a frustrated figure himself at times on the Winter Gardens stage yet still brushed aside the challenge of Ian White by a 13-4 scoreline.
After both players held throw to start with, the top seed reeled off seven successive legs to take complete command. Yet his dissatisfaction at his display was clear at times, with a shake of the head coming after he hit double eight to make it 3-1.
Some sloppiness in the 10th allowed White to end the streak, the man from Stoke-on-Trent turning to the crowd and shrugging his shoulders after landing double four.
Yet it was only a case of delaying the inevitable as he never found the same form he displayed in his victory over Terry Jenkins on opening night, meaning White is still yet to get beyond the second round of the event.
Van Gerwen checked out 123 in the 15th leg and then finished off his opponent with double tops, though he told Sky Sports afterwards he would need to improve if he hoped to go all the way.
“I didn’t come into the game well straight away,” he said. “I didn’t feel comfortable – I didn’t hit my trebles, I didn’t hit my doubles. But he didn’t hit his doubles either.
“I’m quite happy I won, sometimes it’s frustrating to win games like that. Normally a 95 average shouldn’t be good enough to win.
“I need to raise my game, but tonight it was enough. I want to out-score and dominate every game. Sometimes that’s not possible, but I really want to do it.”
James Wade was another player who wasted little time in booking his place in the last eight, cruising to a 13-2 victory over Richie Burnett.
'The Machine' - who won the tournament back in 2007 - managed three ton-plus checkouts, including taking out 114 to complete the rout. He finished with an average over 95 and landed four 180s.
David Chisnall was made to work a little harder in the opening match of the evening, always staying just ahead of Andy Hamilton to clinch a hard-fought 13-10 triumph.
'The Hammer' never led after taking the opening leg; he did take two in a row to make it 4-4, though then proceded to lose the next three straight.
The Stoke thrower produced a superb 160 finish in the 14th but was simply never able to get back on level terms, Chisnall taking out double 16 at the first time of asking to seal his progression and set up a clash with Van Gerwen in the next round.