sport

Van Gerwen and Lewis to clash

The entertainers Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis will face-off on Monday night for a spot in the PDC World Darts Championship final.

Van Gerwen remains on course for a second successive final appearance on the Alexandra Palace stage after a 5-3 quarter-final victory over Mark Webster.

The Dutchman struggled for rhythm and almost threw away a 4-1 lead, but still took out eight ton-plus finishes to go through.

He will next meet Lewis, who hit seven 180s and averaged 96.56 on his way to a comfortable 5-1 victory against old adversary James Wade.

Van Gerwen opened up the first match on Sunday night with some exhibition darts.

A 12-dart leg, ending with a classy 121 finish was followed up by a 124 checkout for another 12-darter to break Webster's throw, and then he wrapped up the set in just four minutes and 30 seconds thanks to a sublime 139 outshot.

The Premier League winner was averaging a mind boggling 115.6 and he soon made it five legs on the trot before Webster finally held his throw, but the world No 2 took out 68 to establish a two-set lead in rapid time.

The 2008 Lakeside world champion did push van Gerwen in the third set, taking him to a deciding leg, but the former world finalist took out 128 on his throw to take a 3-0 lead.

Webster fightback

Webster, nicknamed Spider, upped his average to 102.7 to break his opponent with a 102 checkout and claim the fourth set.

'Mighty Mike' broke left-hander Webster in the second leg of the fifth set with a fine 67 finish and he moved to within a set of the last four with yet another ton-plus finish.

However, a 13-dart deciding leg from the Welshman helped him secure the sixth set.

'Green Machine' Van Gerwen was struggling for form by now and with his average dipping below three figures for the first time in the contest, Webster made him pay by landing double 10 to cut the gap to one set.

However, the 24-year-old took out tops and then 114 to move to within a leg of victory and it was all over when a 90 outshot helped him advance.

"I don't know what I did, but I know I didn't play well in the end," he told Sky Sports.

"The last couple of sets I played absolutely rubbish and I don't know why but it's something to do better for tomorrow. I need to concentrate."

Lewis wins

Meanwhile, Lewis, the winner of seven major finals, including two World Grand Prix's, two UK Open's, the World Matchplay and the Premier League, remains on course for a hat-trick of world titles after dispatching Wade.

The reigning European Champion won the first set after Wade missed double eight on his throw, allowing Lewis in with a neat ton finish.

There were five breaks of throw at the start of the next, but it was Lewis who eventually punished the Aldershot thrower by converting 64 on double top, meaning he pinched the set.

In the deciding leg of the third set the 28-year-old from Stoke held onto this throw by landing double eight to move three up.

Left-hander Wade came to the party with a smooth 121 to break Lewis before winning his first set thanks to a neat combination finish on 78.

That spurred the world No 3 on to take the fifth and 'Jackpot' broke the 30-year-old former mechanic with a 50 checkout before wrapping up victory in the next leg with double 10.

He next takes on van Gerwen, who has a 3-2 winning record against the Stoke thrower since the summer, but Lewis insists he is not phased at the challenge which awaits him.

"I'm looking forward to (playing) him," he said. "He's doing the shots and hitting the big scores, but I've been there and done it. Let's see what his got. It's going to be a tough game so let the best man win."