World No 1 Michael van Gerwen was given something of a fright by Dave Chisnall at the Winter Gardens last night, but the Dutchman showed his mettle, as well as class, to secure a place in the semi-finals of the World Matchplay.
The Chizzee Rascal was swift off the blocks against Mighty Mike, racing into a 3-0 lead. The 33-year-old also hit ten 180s during a performance that would have been good enough to see him beat most throwers.
However, Van Gerwen once again demonstrated his resolve and gradually stamped his authority on the game in the latter stages, eventually winning 16-12. It was a truly titanic tussle and it was a shame that one player had to exit the tournament.
Now Mighty Mike turns his attention to Simon Whitlock who he meets on Saturday. And what a match it promises to be.
Whitlock has been resurgent in Blackpool. The Australian was 4-0 down in the blink of an eye against James Wade on Thursday night, but kept his cool and produced a tremendous fight-back to beat the 2007 Matchplay champion 16-10.
It was a similar scenario against Raymond van Barneveld in the previous round. Indeed, The Wizard looked in big trouble against the Dutchman after the first four games or so, but gradually built up a head of steam and ended the match well on top.
Matchplay sponsors BetVictor don’t believe that Whitlock will be able to produce his magic against Van Gerwen, though. Indeed, they go 1/4 Mighty Mike and 3/1 The Wizard, but it’s unlikely to be a one-sided match by any means.
Still, Van Gerwen’s turbo appears to be kicking in at just the right time. He hit 55 per cent of his doubles and averaged 102 against Chisnall, and a similar performance against Whitlock should see him through to Sunday’s final.
Obviously, at the prices he’s too short to back in the match result market, but there is plenty of value to be had in BetVictor’s leg betting. I’d recommend splitting stakes and opting for Van Gerwen to win 17-10 and 17-11, with both scores priced up at 10s.
In tonight’s games, Adrian Lewis and Phil Taylor are expected to see off Gary Anderson and Wes Newton respectively, and in turn set up a potentially mouth-watering semi-final clash.
The Power should have way too many guns for Newton, and the 4/6 on offer about the Stoke man -7.5 in the handicap betting is worth steaming into.
There is unlikely to be such a chasm score-wise in the tie between Lewis and Anderson, but Jackpot can edge it. The 29-year-old is 3/1 with BetVictor to achieve a combination of the most 180s, the highest checkout and to win the match, which rates a good value bet to my mind.
Darts betting tips – World Matchplay
Phil Taylor v Wes Newton (Friday)
Taylor -7.5 in the handicap betting – 4/6 (BetVictor)
Adrian Lewis v Gary Anderson (Friday)
Lewis to achieve the most 180s, the highest checkout and to win – 3/1 (BetVictor)
Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock (Saturday)
Van Gerwen to win 17-10 – 10/1 (BetVictor)
Van Gerwen to win 17-11 – 10/1 (BetVictor)
Already advised (tournament outright betting):
Adrian Lewis – 8/1 (BetVictor)
James Wade – 14/1 (BetVictor)