PDC World Darts Championship: Gary Anderson storms through to semi-finals

Gary Anderson was at his awe-inspiring best as he steamrollered Dirk van Duijvenbode to reach the PDC World Darts Championship semi-finals for the sixth time.

The relentless Scot demolished Dutchman Van Duijvenbode with a sweet 101.07 average, hitting six maximums as well as enjoying 50 per cent on the doubles. Anderson won 14 of the last 17 legs to complete a handsome 5-1 victory and remain on course for his third world title.

In the other semi-final, Stephen Bunting overcame Krzysztof Ratajski 5-3, despite a late rally from the Pole, to make it through to the final four of the tournament for the first time.

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Anderson found himself a set down against the darts as underdog Van Duijvenbode sealed it 3-1 with a 97.8 average and 75 per cent on the doubles.

‘The Aubergenius’ had already beaten former world champion Rob Cross and reigning Premier League champion Glen Durrant en route to the last eight.

He was playing the darts of his life, but was up against his darting idol, who he had already beaten at the World Grand Prix in October, and soon found himself on the receiving end of a vintage comeback.

‘The Flying Scotsman’ picked up the pace and a superb 11-dart break of throw helped him on his way to the second set with a 103.72 average.

Van Duijvenbode was suffering a wobble as 50-year-old Anderson upped his game to whitewash the Dutchman for a 2-1 lead with just a 93.9 average.

Anderson cleaned up a majestic 127 break at the start of the fourth set before nailing a 14-darter. He soon made it eight legs on the spin thanks to double-seven finish for a 3-1 advantage.

The Scot’s relentless pursuit continued with a magnificent 131 (T17, D20, D20) although his run of 10 consecutive legs came to an end when Van Duijvenbode took out 70 (T18, D8) after a neat 14-dart leg. However, Anderson soon wrapped up the set to edge closer to victory.

Anderson gave Van Duijvenbode a nod of appreciation after he hit back with a 109 finish in the second leg of the sixth set but, in a last-leg decider, the 13th seed wrapped up a procession with a 24th 140 and tops at the first time of asking.

He will play the winner of the semi-final between world No 1 Michael van Gerwen and Dave Chisnall later on New Year’s Day.

Anderson’s world championship semi-final appearances

2003 BDO

2011 PDC

2015 PDC

2016 PDC

2017 PDC

2019 PDC

2021 PDC

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Can ‘The Bullet’ go all the way?

Bunting became the first player to reach the semi-finals, beating Ratajski 5-3 to set up a date with the winner of the match between Gerwyn Price and Daryl Gurney.

Birthday-boy Ratajski laid down an early marker, firing in a 104 finish in the opening leg of the match, but he was unable to consolidate the break and Bunting hit back before pinning D18 to take it in a race to five.

‘The Bullet’ settled into the contest well and nailed a fabulous 127 to break throw at the start of the next before completing a whitewash, averaging an impressive 115.62 in the set.

Bunting, the 2014 Lakeside champion, was taken to a deciding leg in the third set but the St Helens thrower took it after holding throw following a neat 13-darter.

‘The Polish Eagle’ upped his checkout percentage and appeared on course to win the fourth set until Bunting took out 106 against the darts (T20, 14, D16) before sending it into a decider with another 13-dart leg.

Ratajski, celebrating his 44th birthday, did get a set on the board, though, but it took him four darts at the double before reducing the arrears.

Polish No 1 Ratajski looked in pole position to win the next set too, but Bunting turned on the afterburners to sink 74 before reeling in ‘The Big Fish’ (170 finish) to level it up. He made it 4-1 after taking out 43 in two darts (11, D16).

Bunting crashed in a 116 finish for his fourth ton-plus finish of the contest, but it was the world No 15 who wrapped up the sixth set 3-1 to keep the match alive.

And he made things very interesting after landing a sensational 124 on the bullseye on his way to winning the seventh set 3-1 to apply further pressure on Bunting.

Bunting’s PDC televised ranking semi-final appearances

2014 World Grand Prix

2015 UK Open

2021 World Championship

A fifth 180 and an 82 checkout saw Bunting hit the front against the darts in the eighth set. He held throw with tops and got over the line with a neat 76 finish.

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