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World Darts Championship: Michael Smith, Michael van Gerwen and Luke Littler ease into last-16

Michael van Gerwen, Michael Smith and Luke Littler all eased into the last-16 on Wednesday; the World Darts Championship runs all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 - we're back on Thursday at 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports Darts

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A look back the best of the action from the evening session of Day Ten at the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.

Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith marched into the fourth round of the World Darts Championship, as teenager Luke Littler continued his dream debut at the Alexandra Palace.

Van Gerwen continued his bid for a fourth world title as he thrashed compatriot Richard Veenstra in straight sets, while defending champion Smith moved into the next round after seeing off Madars Razma 4-1.

Sixteen-year-old Littler produced another statement performance to become the youngest player in history to reach the last 16, with the former world youth champion winning his first three sets on his way to a 4-1 win over Matt Campbell.

World Darts Championship: Wednesday Evening Results

Matt Campbell 1-4 Luke Littler (R3)
Michael van Gerwen 4-0 Richard Veenstra (R3)
Michael Smith 4-1 Madars Razma (R3)

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Luke Littler produces a brilliant 164 finish against Matt Campbell in the World Darts Championship third round.

Former world champion Rob Cross progressed after a 4-2 victory over Jeffrey de Graaf earlier in the day, with Dave Chisnall and Scott Williams - who came through a final-set decider against Martin Schindler - also winning in the afternoon session.

Littler continues dream debut

Littler moved a step closer to a potential last-16 showdown with Raymond van Barneveld after a comfortable win over Campbell, posting a 97.19 average and hitting eight maximums to extend his winning streak in his maiden world championship appearance.

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Matt Campbell watches on in awe as 16-year-old Luke Littler finds a brilliant 130 in their third round match at the World Darts Championship.

The fans' favourite raced through the first two sets without losing a leg and battled back from 2-0 down to claim the third in a final-leg decider, then responded to losing the fourth by taking out a 164 check-out on his way winning the fifth and securing his spot in the fourth round.

Littler had already thrashed Christian Kist in straight sets and seen off reigning UK Open champion Andrew Gilding prior to beating Campbell, with the latest win meaning he will face either Van Barneveld or Wales' Jim Williams in the next round.

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Luke Littler becomes the youngest player to qualify for the last 16 of the World Darts Championship, but will he celebrate with his trademark celebratory kebab?

"Unbelievable," Littler told Sky Sports. "I only wanted to win one game and I've won three. I've battled through it and I'm so happy. I just let my darts do the talking.

"As soon as I won that first game against Christian Kist I just settled and as soon as I went 2-0 up against Matt I tried to calm myself down because last time it didn't go too well. I kept composed and got over the line."

Van Gerwen whitewashes Veenstra

Van Gerwen made light work of fellow Dutchman Veenstra, dropping just four legs and registering a 101.39 average to set up a last 16-meeting with either Stephen Bunting or Florian Hempel.

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Michael van Gerwen makes it clear that he wants Stephen Bunting next after he coasted into the last 16 at the World Darts Championship.

The 'Green Machine' opened with a 13-dart hold and wrapped up the opening set with an 11-dart leg, with the former world No 1 then taking control of the contest by securing the second set with back-to-back 11-darters.

Veenstra extended the third set with a 120 checkout but lost it to a final-set decider, before Van Gerwen breezed through the final set and completed an emphatic victory with a 130 finish.

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Michael van Gerwen iced a dominant 4-0 third-round Worlds win over Richard Veenstra with a brilliant 130 checkout.

"I definitely felt comfortable," Van Gerwen told Sky Sports. "I had some poor legs but don't get me wrong I think it was a good game. I didn't want to give him the feeling that there was anything to get from this game."

Smith moves step closer to defence

Smith maintained his bid for back-to-back world championship titles although looked far from his brilliant best at times during his 4-1 win over Razma.

Bully Boy posted two ton-plus finishes in the first set, including a 130 checkout to hold throw with Razma left on the double, only for his playing partner to seal the opener with a 14-dart hold.

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Michael Smith is into the last 16 after a tough third-round match against Madars Razma at the World Darts Championship.

Smith won the next two sets and took advantage of Razma wasting two set darts on D20 in the fourth to come through a final-leg decider and open up a two-set advantage, before showing his class to race through the fifth.

He followed an 11-dart hold by breaking throw with an 80 checkout, then threw six perfect darts on his way to completing victory with a 13-darter and securing an all-English clash next against either Ross Smith or Chris Dobey.

"It wasn't my best but I battled and got over the line in the end," Smith told Sky Sports. "I wasn't happy with the performance but am happy to get to the next round. I get to chill out and find my A-game for the rest of the tournament now."

World Darts Championship: Wednesday Afternoon Results

Scott Williams 4-3 Martin Schindler (R3)
Dave Chisnall 4-1 Gabriel Clemens (R3)
Rob Cross 4-2 Jeffrey de Graaf (R3)

What else happened on day 10?

Cross averaged 101 and landed 10 maximums to claim a hard-fought victory over De Graff, having won six of his opening eight legs before being pegged back by the Dutch-born Swede.

De Graaf won the third set and responded to losing the next to claim the fifth, only for Cross to fire a 113 average in the sixth set to each the last-16 for a third consecutive year.

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Rob Cross said he enjoyed the battle against Jeffrey de Graaf and says he fancies himself, despite the players left on his side of the draw.

Williams defied 13 maximums from Martin Schindler to come through a final-set decider and reach the last-16 for the first time in his career, firing 152 and 146 checkouts along the way, while 2021 semi-finalist Chisnall breezed past Clemens 4-1.

What's happening on Thursday at the World Darts Championship?

Pre-tournament favourite Luke Humphries will resume his title bid against German debutant Ricardo Pietreczko on Thursday, as 2021 champion Gerwyn Price faces Brendan Dolan.

Live World Darts Championship

World Darts Championship: Thursday Afternoon Fixtures

Florian Hempel vs Stephen Bunting (R3)
Joe Cullen vs Ryan Searle (R3)
Ross Smith vs Chris Dobey (R3)

Joe Cullen takes on Ryan Searle with Stephen Bunting and Chris Dobey in action during the afternoon session.

Live World Darts Championship

World Darts Championship: Thursday Evening Fixtures

Gerwyn Price vs Brendan Dolan (R3)
Luke Humphries vs Ricardo Pietreczko (R3)
Ricky Evans vs Daryl Gurney (R3)

The sport's biggest event sees the remaining players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace. You can watch all the action live on our dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.

Watch the World Darts Championship all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 - live on Sky Sports Darts. NOW Sports Month Membership: £21 a month for 6 months

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