September 19, 2020, 0:47

World Matchplay Darts: The best of the second round action in Blackpool

World Matchplay Darts: The best of the second round action in Blackpool

The second round of the World Matchplay provided incredible drama, as top seed Michael van Gerwen and defending champion Gary Anderson both crashed out in Blackpool.

There were six seeded casualties in the opening round, although two of the biggest names in world darts were sent packing on Tuesday night in one of the most memorable evenings ever witnessed at the World Matchplay.

Rob Cross is the highest seed left in the competition as he embarks on a first Winter Gardens quarter-final, but the form man is unquestionably Peter Wright – who currently boasts the highest tournament average.

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Glen Durrant’s dream of a debut triumph in Blackpool is still alive after his gripping victory over Van Gerwen, whilst 2007 champion James Wade is the only former winner remaining in this year’s field.

The quarter-finals begins on Thursday but ahead of more tungsten tension, we’ve picked out the best bits from two enthralling days of second-round action.

Best checkout

Wright extended his unbeaten run to 20 matches with an emphatic 11-2 success over Simon Whitlock and his performance was as impressive as the result itself.

‘Snakebite’ produced a stunning 170 finish – the first of the tournament so far to move 4-0 ahead, with a little bit of inspiration from mystic Wayne Mardle in the commentary box.

Moment of the round

Stephen Bunting’s remarkable fightback against Ian White and Wade’s tie-break victory over Mensur Suljovic provided moments of real drama, but Durrant’s thrilling triumph against MVG marks the moment of the tournament thus far.

Van Gerwen sparked into life following a sluggish start, but Durrant remained undeterred and held his nerve to record the biggest win of his PDC career.

Surprise exit

Durrant and Van Gerwen’s showdown generated the headlines, but King pulled off arguably the upset of the round to dethrone defending champion Anderson.

King led 5-1 before losing six of the next seven legs, but the 53-year-old rallied to send Anderson packing and secure a place in his first televised quarter-final for three years.

Best comeback

For the second straight round Michael Smith recovered from a three-leg deficit to prevail, but his St Helens counterpart Bunting produced the comeback of round two.

‘The Bullet’ trailed 9-4 against tenth seed White and was forced to survive five match darts, but he won 10 of the final 13 legs to progress, taking out crucial 110 and 84 combination finishes en route to victory.

Best performance

There were a number of contenders for this particular accolade, but Wright posted the highest average of the tournament thus far in his emphatic win over Whitlock.

The Scot averaged 103, landed seven maximums and converted 50% of his attempts at double and incredibly he’s now posted ton-plus averages in his last eight competitive outings.

Durrant’s delight

Durrant received wonderful support from the Winter Gardens crowd throughout his clash against Van Gerwen and the Teessider was overcome with emotion following his famous win.


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