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PDC Darts: Michael van Gerwen booked his place in the fourth round with a win over Ricky Evans
James Wade becomes the latest high profile name to crash out after 4-2 defeat to the evergreen Steve Beaton
Last Updated: 23/12/19 9:27am
Defending champion Michael van Gerwen delivered a statement 4-0 third-round victory over Ricky Evans to reach the last 16 of the World Darts Championship on the same night that James Wade crashed out of the tournament.
In a blistering contest played at a frenetic pace, Van Gerwen fired 10 maximum 180s and three 100+ finishes against 'Rapid' Ricky, whose quickfire throwing action set the tone for a high-octane affair that thrilled the Alexandra Palace crowd.
But at the end of it, it was the world No 1, chasing a fourth world title and third in the last four years, who dished out the win that sees him through to a meeting with Stephen Bunting - who had earlier accounted for Jonny Clayton by the same scoreline.
Wade was the day's biggest casualty, falling to 1996 world champion Steve Beaton. In his record-equalling 29th consecutive World Championship appearance, Beaton produced one of his best displays on the biggest stage of them all to reach the last 16 for the first time since 2004 and end the hopes of the eighth seed.
PDC World Championship: Sunday's Third round results
|Afternoon||Jonny Clayton 0-4 Stephen Bunting|
|Darius Labanauskas 4-2 Max Hopp|
|Nathan Aspinall 4-3 Krzysztof Ratajski|
|Evening||James Wade 2-4 Steve Beaton|
|Kim Huybrechts 4-2 Danny Noppert|
|MIchael van Gerwen 4-0 Ricky Evans|
Clinical Van Gerwen sends out statement
Van Gerwen has won his last eight matches at the last-32 stage and despite a spirited and quickfire performance from the 32nd seed, MVG was in very little trouble throughout.
From the walk-ons to the barrage of maximums and big finishes, the pair delighted a crowd that included Geoff Shreeves and Graeme Souness.
The opening set went the distance, but remarkably was over in less than eight minutes, going the way of Van Gerwen after Evans had pinned double 10 to force the decider
The first break of the match came in the opening leg of the second as MVG looked to put his foot down. He consolidated with a fourth maximum of the contest on his way to a comfortable hold.
But after a missed dart at bull for a 170 that would have taken the set the distance from Evans, the world No 1 swooped to claim the set with a 107 average.
Van Gerwen is often at his best in a rocket-fuelled contest and a fifth leg from a six-leg burst saw him hit the front in the third set only for Evans to reply with a 119 finish and then take out a brilliant 14-dart break of throw for the lead in the set.
But Van Gewen's riposte was instant, a sensational 114 levelled and gave him the chance to throw for the set which he took when Evans missed four darts to get a set on the board himself.
Trailing 2-1 in the fourth, Van Gerwen chose his moment again to take out a spectacular 118 finish that left him on the brink of victory. And when Evans missed a dart at double 11 for a 142 kill, MVG's second 118 finish swept him across the finish line.
Brilliant Beaton dumps out Machine
Steve Beaton played his first World Championship in 1992 when James Wade was nine-years-old but after being dumped out of the tournament by the Machine on three previous occasions, it was the Bronzed Adonis who was victorious with a 4-2 win.
Beaton, a possible quarter-final oppenent for MvG or Stephen Bunting, roared out of the traps, with a clinical 84 finish via the bullseye in the second leg of the match which set up the 55-year-old to take the opening set.
Wade reeled off finishes of 122 and 125 to move into pole position in the second set, but Beaton was throwing some magical stuff and having seen his opponent miss three darts for a level contest, the 1996 BDO world champion made no mistake for a 2-0 lead.
Wade survived a dart for the set to get on the board in the third but a classy two-dart 81 checkout gave Beaton the chance to restore his two-set advantage. Standing on the point of no return, Wade, a nine-time major champion, stirred and reeled off three quickfire legs to draw back with one.
But it was not to be for Wade who bowed out before the last eight for the third year in succession when Beaton pinned double 16 for a date with Lithuania's Darius Labanauskas, who reeled off three consecutive sets in an impressive 4-2 comeback victory against 24th seed Max Hopp.
The pair split the opening two sets before Hopp recovered from 2-1 down in the third to regain the lead - a clinical 114 combination sealed the set.
A burst of five straight legs broke the German's challenge and 'Lucky D' prevailed to win through to the last 16 of a major PDC televised event for the first time.
Aspinall shows mettle to edge Ratajski thriller
Nathan Aspinall came through a pulsating seven-set epic against Krzysztof Ratajski to set up a potential fourth-round showdown against Gary Anderson.
In a captivating contest that featured 18 breaks of throw, it was the UK Open champion and last year's semi-finalist who edged out the former World Master to the delight of the capacity crowd.
After the pair split the first two sets, the pendulum swung in Aspinall's favour, winning each of the next two sets with 14-dart legs, only for Ratajski to unleash a blistering barrage of scoring to force a seventh set.
However, 12th seed Aspinall raced through the decider in three consecutive legs - rattling in legs of 14, 14 and 15 darts before completing the victory with a 116 checkout on tops.
What's in store on Monday?
Gary Anderson and Peter Wright are among the headline attractions on Monday night that also features a moutwatering contest between Dave Chisnall and Jeffrey de Zwaan.
PDC World Championship: Monday's Third round order of play
|Afternoon||Nico Kurz vs Luke Humphries|
|Adrian Lewis vs Darren Webster|
|Luke Woodhouse vs Dimitri Van den Bergh|
|Evening||Dave Chisnall vs Jeffrey de Zwaan|
|Gary Anderson vs Ryan Searle|
|Peter Wright vs Seigo Asada|
Anderson faces Ryan Searle who has once again come alive on the Ally Pally stage, while Snakebite goes up against Japan's Seigo Asada.
In the afternoon session two-time world champion Adrian Lewis is the star turn when he faces Darren Webster for a place in the last 16, but some of the sport's brightest emerging talents are also on the slate.
PDC World Youth Champion Luke Humphries meets German youngster Nico Kurz to get the action underway and his predecessor as youth champ Dimitri Van den Bergh takes on Luke Woodhouse.
Coverage of the World Darts Championship continues on Sky Sports Darts throughout the tournament with another double session on Monday getting underway at 12.30pm and 7pm.