Michael van Gerwen landed a nine-dart finish on his way to a 13-9 victory over Steve Beaton in the second round of the World Matchplay in Blackpool. The 23-year-old hit two 180s in the ninth leg (Thursday’s total 180’s Betting) and followed them up with a 141 finish to send the Winter Gardens crowd wild.
That gave Van Gerwen (14/1 to win the World Matchplay) a 5-4 lead but the match was a close-fought affair in the early stages and it was deadlocked at 6-6 after 12 legs despite four further ton-plus finishes from the Dutchman (Thursday’s Highest Checkout betting). But Van Gerwen then took command and reeled off four successive legs to open up a 10-6 advantage only for Beaton to keep his hopes alive by winning the next two legs.
However, the former world champion was unable to make any further inroads and Van Gerwen wrapped up the victory, finishing with an average of 104.36 - the highest of the tournament so far.
The Dutchman (14/1 to win the World Matchplay) said "It feels great. It means so much for me and I'm very happy - I exploded into the game after the nine-darter. It was a very good game and Steve played well too. To win the game with a 104 average and a nine-darter is brilliant."