PDC World Darts Championship: Michael van Gerwen, Adrian Lewis and James Wade go through
By Razwan Mirza - Tweet me: @RazMirza. Last Updated: 29/12/13 4:24pm
Last year's beaten finalist Michael van Gerwen won three consecutive sets against Scotland's Gary Anderson to reach the quarter-finals of the PDC World Darts Championship on Saturday afternoon.
The top-ranked player and the bookies' favourite averaged an impressive 102.2, hit seven 180s and 21 ton forties in a 4-3 victory to set up a meeting with Mark Webster.
Adrian Lewis 4-1 Mervyn King
James Wade 4-0 Devon Petersen
Michael van Gerwen 4-3 Gary Anderson
Both players set a blistering pace to the match, but it was 'The Flying Scotsman' who stole the opening set against the darts after hitting double five when handed a reprieve by his opponent.
The Dutchman took out a 126 outshot in the second leg of the next set before sneaking in double top for a 14-darter to level the match.
Borders ace Anderson - a world finalist three years ago and the winner of the 2011 Premier League - wasted little time in cleaning up the third set with an accurate third dart at double eight to re-establish his lead.
And the 43-year-old moved to within a set of a spot in the last eight thanks to a pressure last dart in madhouse, but only after more profligacy at the doubles from van Gerwen.
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'Mighty Mike' was clinical in the decisive leg of the fifth set, nailing double nine to make it 3-2, and then the world No 2 restored parity after holding his nerve to take out 66 and send the contest into a deciding set.
"If that's the best of him (van Gerwen) now then he's got a lot of work to do. I'm sick as a pig. Michael knows himself he should have been out."
He went through after a brilliant 174 left him 16, and he hit double eight at the first attempt, to end a thrilling match.
"I came back very strong and I know I can do that," van Gerwen told Sky Sports. "I was struggling but in the end I played really well. At the beginning he didn't miss and by the end I didn't miss."
Meanwhile, his opponent Anderson said: "I've let him off - it should have been wrapped up. If that's the best of him (van Gerwen) now then he's got a lot of work to do. I'm sick as a pig. Michael knows himself he should have been out."
Two-time former world champion Adrian Lewis averaged just 91.17 but still proved too strong for 2009 semi-finalist Mervyn King, winning 4-1 to reach the last eight.
Lewis took full advantage of some sloppy arrows from King to sweep through the opening set and despite failing to hit the big scores, 'Jackpot' stole the next against the throw by taking out 50 in the deciding leg.
The Stoke thrower was proving clinical with his finishing and two double tops helped him break his opponent's throw before cleaning up to make it 3-0 in his favour.
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King came into the clash having won 16 of the last 20 meetings between the pair, but was struggling to cope with Lewis' 'B' game at a packed Alexandra Palace.
However, he did avoid the dreaded whitewash by taking out 74 in the deciding leg of the fourth set to keep his hopes of a comeback alive.
But the 2011 and 2012 Alexandra Palace champion nailed a 115 checkout to break back early in the fifth set before landing 76 and then sealing victory with double 10 to set up a mouthwatering clash against James Wade.
"My finishing was fantastic all the way through the match, but my 180s and 140s had gone out the window," third-seeded Lewis said after the match.
"He ended up slinging them (his darts) at the board. He wasn't fantastic, but I got the job done. I'm probably the only player left who has won this tournament, so I know what it takes and I know what I have to do."
Wade used all his experience on the big stage to cruise past surprise South African package Devon Petersen 4-0.
'The Machine', who has appeared in three world championship semi-finals in five years on the Ally Pally stage, averaged an impressive 99.92 in the rout.
The left-hander secured the whitewash thanks to a fabulous 121 outshot and despite hitting the wrong bed with his third dart when throwing for the match, he returned in the next leg to take out double six.