Michael van Gerwen breaks average record in Premier League match
By Andy Charles and Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 28/02/16 11:26am
Michael van Gerwen produced a record average of 123.4 to beat Michael Smith 7-1 in their week-four Betway Premier League match in Aberdeen.
'Mighty Mike' recorded the highest mark in the history of televised darts in a simply sublime display against his shell-shocked English opponent to better Phil Taylor's previous record average of 118.68.
Taylor also produced an impressive performance, ending with an average of 115 himself after a 7-5 win over Dave Chisnall, while Gary Anderson gained his first win against Raymond van Barneveld during an epic night of action in Scotland.
Van Gerwen started with an 11-darter and had his average above 130 over the first three legs, the third of which he finished in only 12 darts.
He secured a second break to move 4-0 in front with some exhibition stuff, hitting a 132 finish with two bullseyes.
The world No 1 was six darts into a nine-darter in leg five before missing a rare shot, but he made it 5-0 in quick style and blazed his way into a 6-0 lead before Smith responded, Van Gerwen missing three darts at a double to take a couple of points off his average.
If you play like this, it's amazing for yourself. This is what I can do and I'm glad it came out tonight.
Michael va Gerwen
But he made light of those rare errors to finish off the 7-1 victory, finishing on double-16 to complete a 123.40 average and make it three wins from four Premier League outings this season.
"I felt confident straight away and I also played really well," said Van Gerwen. "If you play like this, it's amazing for yourself. This is what I can do and I'm glad it came out tonight."
After the loss of his long-standing record, Taylor seemed determined to steal some of his Dutch rival's thunder and twice went close to a nine-darter, falling short with the seventh dart on both occasions.
'The Power' did complete a dazzling 126 finish, but was grateful for wasteful finishing from Chisnall in the last leg which allowed him to close out the victory on double eight.
Taylor described Van Gerwen as 'phenomenal' afterwards and insisted his heroics would serve as motivation.
"He's phenomenal, he really is," said Taylor. "I'm not frightened of Michael, he inspires me."
Anderson finally kick-started the defence of his title with a comfortable 7-3 victory over Raymond van Barneveld.
A vociferous home support seemed to unnerve Anderson a little, although he still managed to punish lapses in concentration from the erratic Van Barneveld.
Peter Wright remains a point clear at the top of the table after he snatched a 6-6 draw with Robert Thornton.
The unbeaten 'Snakebite' struggled with a new set of darts and was forced to battle back after Thornton claimed his first point of the competition.
Earlier in the night, Adrian Lewis had edged a closely fought clash with James Wade, firing in a 142 checkout in a 7-5 win.