MICHAEL VAN GERWEN put on a show for the packed out Trusts Arena as he beat Gary Anderson 10-4 on Day two of the Auckland Darts Masters presented by TAB and Burger King.
The World number one averaged 106.81 as he demolished the World Matchplay Champion on a night that also saw Simon Whitlock, Raymond van Barneveld and Peter Wright qualify for the semi-finals.
The clash of the evening saw two-time World Champion Van Gerwen take on a U.S. Darts Masters winner Anderson in a game that was expected to be close, in reality it was anything but.
Van Gerwen started in style pinning seven perfect darts before going on to break on double six.
The ruthless run continued with the Dutch ace opening up a five leg advantage before Anderson finally managed to get a leg on the board.
A stunning 170 finish in leg seventh was the highlight of a disappointing performance from Anderson who had been so superb at the World Matchplay the week before.
Anderson did miss two darts in the twelfth leg to close the gap to 7-5 and Van Gerwen never looked back, running out a 10-4 winner with six 180s and an average of almost 107.
The performance outline Van Gerwen’s credentials as the world’s top player but he spoke of his respect for Anderson after the game.
“Gary and I know how to beat each other and I know there are some phenomenal players but Gary and I are the best in my opinion.
“He didn’t play his best game there but I know what Gary can do and I had to keep my performance up and not make any mistakes to make sure I beat him,” said Van Gerwen.
The world number one will face Peter Wright in the last four as the Scot reached the semi-finals in Auckland for the first time as he beat 2017 Auckland Darts Masters Champion Kyle Anderson 10-3 at the Trusts Arena.
Wright began the match with a break of throw before going on to lead 4-2.
Anderson managed to reduce the deficit to one before Wright strung together a run of six consecutive legs to confirm his place in the last four.
“I’ve been in a few semi-finals on the World Series this year so hopefully I can go a step further tomorrow.
“Kyle didn’t play his best game but neither did I and it’s me that’s in the next round so I’m happy,” offered the world number two.
“Michael was amazing against Gary today and is the best player in the world, I will try and drag him down to my level tomorrow night,” joked Wright after his impressive victory.
Simon Whitlock booked his place in the last four of the Auckland Darts Masters with an impressive 10-7 win over Rob Cross with an average of 99.43.
The World Champion came out the faster of the pair breaking the Whitlock throw in the opening leg of the match in just 12 darts.
A 126 finish from Cross followed to give the Englishman a 2-0 lead before Whitlock was able to break back and level at 2-2.
The seventh leg saw Cross break with an 11-darter to move clear once again but he was reeled back in by the Australian who then took the lead with a stunning 130 bullseye finish.
It was the champion of the world who then came from behind to level with a break of throw.
Whitlock took out 126 on the bull in the 15th leg to lead 8-7 and put the pressure on Cross who missed a big number in the next leg to leave a finish and was punished by Whitlock, who went 9-7 in front.
The Australian who credited the crowd for their support sealed the deal on tops in the next leg.
“The crowd were amazing tonight, they supported me and were very fair. I just need to see that people believe in me and it pumps me up for a match,” said Whitlock.
“I’m tired of losing matches that I think I should win and I know Rob is the World Champion but I believe I am as good as him.
“I can’t wait for tomorrow now, I’m really excited to see how I go,” concluded the former World Championship finalist.
Whitlock will face Raymond van Barneveld in the last four as the Dutch legend made his second Auckland semi-final in four years after a 10-4 win over Mark McGrath.
The five time World Champion comfortably dispatched McGrath, who had shocked Michael Smith the night before, but was unable to find the same form in the quarter-finals.
Despite hitting 60% of his attempts at doubles Van Barneveld averaged just 89.78 on his way to the last four.
“That was nothing like my best game. My new set up is working brilliantly on the doubles but I’m not finding the big scores at the moment,” said the Dutchman after the conclusion of the match.
“I’ve been struggling with sleep this week and I’m very tired but I have to keep battling and try and improve for the semi with Simon.”
The 2018 Auckland Darts Masters concludes on Sunday with the semi-finals taking place before the decider to confirm who will be victorious in New Zealand.
Auckland Darts Masters, presented by TAB & Burger King
Saturday August 4
Rob Cross 7-10 Simon Whitlock
Mark McGrath 4-10 Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson 4-10 Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright 10-3 Kyle Anderson
Best of 19 legs
Sunday August 5 (6pm)
Simon Whitlock v Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
Best of 19 legs
Best of 21 legs
Follow Live Stats via THIS LINK
Updates will be posted on Twitter via @AucklandDarts