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Michael van Gerwen beats Gary Anderson and will face Michael Smith in World Championship final
Bully Boy books place in first World Championship final with 105.22 average to account for Nathan Aspinall
Last Updated: 31/12/18 12:36pm
Michael van Gerwen produced an astonishing display to beat Gary Anderson and set up a World Darts Championship final with Michael Smith.
Having seen Smith and Nathan Aspinall serve up an Ally Pally classic, all eyes were on the two best players on planet darts - and it was Van Gerwen that triumphed in a one-sided battle of the two-time world champions.
MVG, champion in 2014 and 2017, averaged 104.76, fired 11 maximums and averaged 50 per cent on his doubles for a 6-1 win over The Flying Scotsman, who took out three 100+ check-outs himself.
In the other semi-final, Bully Boy's World Championship semi-final record of 17 maximums was the stand-out statistic of a thrilling 6-3 win over world No 73 Aspinall, whose remarkable journey ends with a £100,000 cheque for his semi-final run.
It means the New Year's Day showpiece for the Sid Waddell Trophy will be a repeat of the 2018 Premier League final, where MVG prevailed in an astonishing display.
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen stayed on course for his third World Championship title in six years after a sensational performance ended Gary Anderson's hopes of a treble himself.
Anderson, the 2015 and 2016 champ, took out a brilliant 127 against the throw to raise the roof early on but Van Gerwen stormed back to take out the next two before the Scot's 104 forced the decider.
But MVG surged clear with a remarkable display, that featured a stunning nine-leg burst, motoring to a 3-0 lead in sets.
Trailing 2-0 in the fourth, Anderson stemmed the tide, taking a first leg since the opening set with his third three-figure finish of the contest, but it was not enough as a remarkable Van Gerwen ploughed on to take the set.
Van Gerwen extended his run to 13 out of 14 legs won to give himself a 5-0 lead. With MVG on the brink of victory, Anderson rallied to take a 2-0 lead in the sixth set but he was taken the distance as the Dutchman took out the next two to stand within a leg of the final.
With the Scot waiting on 24 a 10th maximum of the contest piled on the pressure, but Anderson stayed cool to pin double 12 and avoid only the fifth semi-final whitewash on the Alexandra Palace stage.
Anderson took the opening leg with a classy tops-tops, but he frittered away darts at double in the second and third and was punished by Van Gerwen, who won the next two legs before he pinned tops to reach a fourth World Championship final.
Michael Smith 6-3 Nathan Aspinall
Michael Smith prevailed to reach his maiden World Championship final in a stunning contest that featured 30 maximums, with both men averaging more than 100.
Smith made a blistering start, hitting three maximums and recording a 107 average in 42 darts to give him a 1-0 set lead in just under five mins, with Aspinall not even getting a dart at a double.
Bully Boy added a big finish to his early barrage, a 108 setting him on his way to a 2-0 lead which was sealed with a brilliant tops-tops kill to take out 100.
After a seven-leg burst from Smith, Aspinall pinned double top for his first leg of the match and, with the 27-year-old's level improving, he piled the pressure on Bully Boy in the decisive fifth to take the set.
Smith was unable to stem the tide, another three-figure outshot of the contest was only good enough for a leg as Aspinall, aiming to become the first unseeded finalist since Simon Whitlock in 2010, averaged 104 to level the contest.
An 11-dart break of throw gave Aspinall the lead for the first time in a fifth set that saw both men averaging more than 105, but Smith edged it with a brilliant 93 under pressure. Back came Aspinall, though, with the sixth set also going the distance with The Asp prevailing to level contest once again.
While Smith maintained his 107 average, for the first time his opponent's level dropped, a seventh-set average of 85 meant Bully Boy could afford four missed darts for the set before eventually cleaning up 90 via the bullseye for the lead.
The 10th seed then powered home with a brilliant 130 the highlight of a superb run to the finish line that was crowned with a spectacular 121 to seal the victory.
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