Big guns fire at the Palace
A review of Thursday's second session at the PDC World Darts Championship.
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Michael van Gerwen made light of a foot injury to beat Colin Lloyd and book his place in the quarter-finals of the PDC World Darts Championship and was joined in the final eight by compatriot Raymond van Barneveld and defending champion Adrian Lewis on Thursday night.
Van Gerwen limped to the stage, and throughout the match, but still produced a fine display to beat Lloyd 4-1 as he finished with a 98.96 average at Alexandra Palace.
The tone for a high-quality affair was set as the Dutchman responded to a 132 check-out from his opponent in the second leg with a 116 to close out the opening set before also taking the second.
Things were looking ominous for Lloyd as his rival finished 65 to break at the start of the third, but the Englishman then reeled off three consecutive legs to give himself renewed hope as the doubles deserted van Gerwen.
But he rediscovered his clinical finishing touch to take the fourth set by three legs to one and an 11-darter put him two up in the next. From there he would miss seven match darts, but Lloyd was unable to make him pay and the Dutchman eventually found double-three to close out victory.
On paper van Barneveld's clash against Gary Anderson looked like being thrilling affair, but the Scotsman's inability to hit doubles again proved his undoing as his opponent romped to a facile 4-0 win.
Throwing first, van Barneveld held his nerve to take the opening set and, after his opponent missed four darts at double-16, secured a crucial break in the third leg of set two as he moved 2-0 up.
The Dutchman took the third by three legs to two and, having broken in the opening leg of set four, stepped in after Anderson missed a total of seven darts to extend the contest and hit double-three to close out victory.
Lewis made a fast start against Kevin Painter as he raced into a 2-0 lead, but was pegged back by his rival and the pair exchanged words as Painter squared the match at 2-2.
Lewis, who is looking for a third straight title at the event, reeled off 12 and then 13-dart legs on his way to re-establishing his lead and then proved to good for his rival in the sixth as he closed out a 4-2 success and a quarter-final against van Gerwen.
Speaking after his match, van Gerwen told Sky Sports: "It's not only one foot, it's two feet. One foot has a little fracture in there and the other has an infection of my Achilles. I don't know how I got it, but it's terrible for me of course.
"But I'm so happy I played well, I never expected this. I was surprised I played this well and I want to keep this going.
"I have two days off now and I'm going to let someone have a look at it, but I'm not playing with my feet I'm playing with my hands."