PDC World Darts Championship: Michael van Gerwen dethrones Adrian Lewis at Ally Pally
Michael van Gerwen dethroned reigning champion Adrian Lewis to reach the semi-finals of the World Championship.
Last Updated: 30/12/12 7:42am
Lewis, who had won his 15 previous matches at the venue, missed two darts for the match before going down 4-2 in the deciding set of an enthralling battle.
Both men averaged over 100 and combined for 26 180s, but it was Van Gerwen who sealed a semi-final date with James Wade after hitting one of the biggest double fours of his career.
Lewis, champion for the last two years, was left to rue two missed darts at double top in the deciding set, an opening which Van Gerwen capitalised on with nerveless 83 and 108 checkouts before breaking throw to win.
'Jackpot' had earlier come from behind on four occasions to take the match into a deciding set.
The Stoke thrower used just 37 darts to win the eighth set, producing 15, 10 and 12-dart legs to blow van Gerwen away.
But the 23-year-old from Holland did not panic, showing the kind of battling spirit which is required to win the event to reach the semi-finals for the first time in his career.
Speaking afterwards, 'Mighty Mike', who recorded a doubles percentage of just 30, told Sky Sports: "We played a very good game. I was struggling all the way through on my doubles.
"He played so well, and I thought 'oh, here we go'. But he missed two darts at the double (to win) and I knew that was my chance.
"This is my biggest year ever. I'm playing so well at the moment and in games like this it's amazing if you can win. But I'm not finished yet. I'm in the semi-finals and I know if I can carry this game on I can get to the final."
A devastated Lewis admitted: "It's my own fault. I blocked the bed in the first place (going for victory), but fair play to him. He played really well.
"You've got to take it on the chin and move on now. He deserved to win in the end - I missed my chance, he took his."
At least the Stoke thrower could take some comfort in the fact he'd been part of something special on the biggest stage of the season, adding: "It was probably the best game you'll ever see on television. That was better than Taylor-van Barneveld, without a shadow of a doubt."