Phil Taylor reaches World Darts Championship semi-finals after beating Gary Anderson
'The Power' averaged 102.02 on his way to semi-final showdown with Jamie Lewis on Saturday
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 30/12/17 11:46am
Phil Taylor kept alive his hopes of winning a 17th and final World Championship title by reaching the semi-finals at Alexandra Palace on Friday night.
The 57-year-old, playing in his last tournament before retirement, crushed Gary Anderson's hopes with a consummate 5-3 display.
Taylor, who last won the tournament in 2013, will meet Welshman Jamie Lewis on Saturday and will be overwhelming favourite to reach the final for the first time since losing to Anderson in 2015.
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"It was a struggle, but I just knew I had to keep putting him under pressure" Taylor told Sky Sports Darts. "It's the greatest feeling in the world hearing the fans chant my name and I'm going to miss it after next week, but I've been around for 30 years. I'm loving every minute of it.
And on his semi-final opponent, Taylor added: "Jamie Lewis is a lovely lad. He's quiet and just gets on with it - this is life changing for him."
He was in a jovial mood following an opening set which saw him average 107 and strike three out of three on the doubles, but 'The Flying Scotsman' rescued the next set with a fabulous maximum and then a 101 checkout to draw level.
Anderson fluffed his lines by missing four darts for a hold of throw at the start of the next and was punished for his profligacy as Taylor stepped in for a whitewash.
And it was a case of darting dejavu in set four as two-time former winner Anderson let slip a 2-0 lead to hand Taylor a handsome 3-1 advantage.
Taylor was giving himself more opportunities at landing doubles with a 52 per cent success rate by the time he strode to within one set of victory thanks to another clean sweep.
Anderson kept his hopes alive with a sweet 115 checkout en route to claiming the sixth set, but sixth-seeded Taylor moved a leg away from victory thanks a stunning 177 followed by a 126 bullseye finish.
However, the Scot denied Taylor the opportunity by holding his nerve to take out 81 to get it back to 4-3 in what was turning into another fabulous tungsten tussle.
Taylor misses the opportunity to seal the win when he hit treble 19 and double 16, before missing tops for an audacious 129 in the fourth leg of the eighth set. But he finally took his chance with his third match dart to move one match away from his 21st career world final.
The 2018 World Championship from Alexandra Palace continues with Super Saturday as coverage of both semi-finals gets underway from 7.30pm on Sky Sports Darts, Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Mix.
Keep up to date with the news as the PDC celebrates 25 years on Sky Sports, right through to the final on New Year's Day. Get all the latest at www.skysports.com/darts and join in the conversation @SkySportsDarts- don't forget to use #LoveTheDarts
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