Anderson puts out Bunting while Barney beats Kyle Anderson. Also wins for Rob Cross and Mensur Suljovic at the Winter Gardens.
By Raz Mirza at The Winter Gardens, Blackpool
Last Updated: 22/07/18 11:54pm
Gary Anderson set up a blockbuster second-round meeting with Raymond van Barneveld at the World Matchplay in Blackpool on Sunday night.
Anderson, in search of his first World Matchplay title, dispatched Stephen Bunting 10-7, while Van Barneveld came through against Kyle Anderson 10-6 to set up a dream showdown at the Winter Gardens.
World Matchplay Darts – Evening Session
|Mensur Suljovic||10-6||Steve Beaton|
|Gary Anderson||10-7||Stephen Bunting|
|Rob Cross||10-5||Mervyn King|
|Raymond van Barneveld||10-6||Kyle Anderson|
Scottish ace Anderson is a two-time World Matchplay semi-finalist, but was aiming to follow up his UK Open and US Darts Masters wins with a third televised title of 2018.
However, he found himself clinging onto Bunting by the seventh leg as ‘The Bullet’ looked to record a major TV victory over the world No 4.
Back came Anderson to pin D8 and make it a level playing field at 5-5 in what was turning into a fast and furious encounter.
Despite a handsome 110 from Bunting, he began to rush his darts and Anderson took advantage to break for an 8-6 lead. He extended his advantage by hitting D9 at the first time of asking and soon completed a fine win on throw with tops.
“Towards the end I was starting to find my rhythm, but it’s a bit warm in here,” Anderson told Sky Sports. “We’re all beatable even if you’re Michael van Gerwen. It’s all about taking each game at a time.”
Van Barneveld looked lethargic during an opening leg which he lost, but he soon started finding his rhythm to win the next six in a row.
The Australian closed the gap to 7-5 which sparked Van Barneveld into life again as he landed D8 to keep Anderson at arm’s length.
Dutch ace Van Barneveld nailed tops to edge closer to victory and D10 helped him into round two.
“Gary Anderson is a class player and what he has done for the game over the past four, five years has been amazing,” said the 51-year-old. “I know what I have to do to beat him. You have to hit two trebles every single time you come to the oche otherwise you’re going home.”
World champion Rob Cross proved too good as he beat Mervyn King 10-5 to power into the second round with a 98.58 three-dart average in Blackpool.
Cross, making only his second Winter Gardens appearance, took out 153 in the early stages before both players traded breaks. The Hastings thrower then delivered a hammer blow by taking out 80 to move 6-4 ahead.
Cross came into his clash on a high after reaching World Series finals in Las Vegas and Shanghai and he soon had a spring in his step with a 121 checkout to build an 8-5 advantage. He won the next two legs to complete a straightforward victory and set up an encounter against Darren Webster.
“I’ve lost a bit of weight in the last eight weeks and over the last six weeks I’ve felt like myself again,” admitted Cross. “Darren will be up for it in the next round but I’ll be ready for him.”
Champions League of Darts and German Darts Masters winner Mensur Suljovic opened the evening session with a 10-6 defeat of the evergreen Steve Beaton, who was competing in Blackpool for the 19th time.
A high-quality 124 finished moved the Austrian ahead in the sixth leg before nailing his favourite D14. Another clinical 112 finish helped move him into a commanding 6-2 lead.
Suljovic slammed the door on ‘The Bronzed Adonis’ in the 12th leg with a 92 checkout and then sunk D10 to move one leg away from victory.
But he missed a total of nine match darts before eventually stumbling over the line with D18 to record his first-ever win against Beaton in nine matches and next faces Ian White for a place in the quarter-finals.
“I played well, but I was really nervous towards the end,” said Suljovic. “I want to go far and try and win this tournament.”
World Matchplay Darts – Monday July 23 (7pm)
|Kim Huybrechts||v||John Henderson|
|Simon Whitlock||v||Richard North|
|James Wade||v||Jermaine Wattimena|
|Peter Wright||v||Jelle Klaasen|
Join us for further coverage of the World Matchplay on Monday, July 23 at 7pm on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Main Event. The darts will run through to the final on Sunday, July 29.
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