MVG hits nine-darter in semi win
Michael van Gerwen hit a nine-darter during his 6-4 win over James Wade in the PDC World Darts Championship semi-final.
The Dutch ace was leading 3-1 in sets but trailing 2-0 in the fifth when he opened with 180 and 177 before taking out 144 to complete the nine-dart finish - the second of the tournament after Dean Winstanley's achievement in the second round.
Van Gerwen then opened the set's fourth leg with two 180s and hit another treble 20 and treble 19 but missed double 12 to create history with back-to-back nine-darters.
Van Gerwen did win the leg, in 12 darts, but lost the set as Wade cut the gap to 3-2 in sets and then took the sixth set 3-0 to level the game.
The Dutch ace, though, regained his range and took the seventh set 3-1 and edged the eighth in a deciding leg to move 5-3 up.
Wade held on to win the ninth set in a deciding leg, but van Gerwen hit his 14th maximum of the game in the tenth set, winning three successive legs to seal a memorable triumph.
Van Gerwen's nine-darter means that he will share the £15,000 nine-dart bonus with Winstanley - who had hit his perfect leg during a defeat to Vincent van der Voort - although any further nine-dart finishes in the remaining of the tournament would also earn a split of the prize money on a pro-rata basis.
"It was unbelievable," Van Gerwen said of his win afterwards. "It was a very difficult game for me because Wade is a very slow player and I had not beaten him on TV, but it was a nice one to win."
Asked about attempting to hit his second nine-dart finish, Van Gerwen added on Sky Sports 1: "I was very concentrated, thinking 'Just carry on' because I was 2-1 down in the set and I still lost it, but it's not about nine-dart finishes, it's about winning games.
"It's nice to be in the final of the World Championships."