Michael van Gerwen thrashed World Matchplay champion Gary Anderson 10-4 to reach semi-finals of the Auckland Darts Masters.
The world number one, who sensationally crashed out in the first round in Blackpool as the Flying Scotsman went on to complete the Triple Crown of Darts, posted an impressive average of 106.81 during an imperious victory at the Trusts Arena.
Van Gerwen started in style pinning seven perfect darts before going on to break on double six.
The ruthless run continued with the Dutch ace opening up a five leg advantage before Anderson finally managed to get a leg on the board.
A stunning 170 finish in leg seventh was the highlight of a disappointing performance from Anderson who had been so superb at the World Matchplay the week before.
Anderson did miss two darts in the twelfth leg to close the gap to 7-5 and Van Gerwen never looked back, running out a 10-4 winner with six 180s and an average of almost 107.
Van Gerwen told www.pdc.tv: "Gary and I know how to beat each other and I know there are some phenomenal players but Gary and I are the best in my opinion.
“He didn’t play his best game there but I know what Gary can do and I had to keep my performance up and not make any mistakes to make sure I beat him."
The world number one will face Peter Wright in the last four as the Scot reached the semi-finals in Auckland for the first time as he beat 2017 Auckland Darts Masters Champion Kyle Anderson 10-3 at the Trusts Arena.
Wright began the match with a break of throw before going on to lead 4-2.
Anderson managed to reduce the deficit to one before Wright strung together a run of six consecutive legs to confirm his place in the last four.
“I’ve been in a few semi-finals on the World Series this year so hopefully I can go a step further tomorrow.
“Kyle didn’t play his best game but neither did I and it’s me that’s in the next round so I’m happy,” offered the world number two.
“Michael was amazing against Gary today and is the best player in the world, I will try and drag him down to my level tomorrow night,” joked Wright after his impressive victory.
Simon Whitlock booked his place in the last four of the Auckland Darts Masters with an impressive 10-7 win over Rob Cross with an average of 99.43.
The World Champion came out the faster of the pair breaking the Whitlock throw in the opening leg of the match in just 12 darts.
A 126 finish from Cross followed to give the Englishman a 2-0 lead before Whitlock was able to break back and level at 2-2.
The seventh leg saw Cross break with an 11-darter to move clear once again but he was reeled back in by the Australian who then took the lead with a stunning 130 bullseye finish.
It was the champion of the world who then came from behind to level with a break of throw.
Whitlock took out 126 on the bull in the 15th leg to lead 8-7 and put the pressure on Cross who missed a big number in the next leg to leave a finish and was punished by Whitlock, who went 9-7 in front.
The Australian who credited the crowd for their support sealed the deal on tops in the next leg.
“The crowd were amazing tonight, they supported me and were very fair. I just need to see that people believe in me and it pumps me up for a match,” said Whitlock.
“I’m tired of losing matches that I think I should win and I know Rob is the World Champion but I believe I am as good as him.
“I can’t wait for tomorrow now, I’m really excited to see how I go,” concluded the former World Championship finalist.
Whitlock will face Raymond van Barneveld in the last four as the Dutch legend made his second Auckland semi-final in four years after a 10-4 win over Mark McGrath.
The five time World Champion comfortably dispatched McGrath, who had shocked Michael Smith the night before, but was unable to find the same form in the quarter-finals.
Despite hitting 60% of his attempts at doubles Van Barneveld averaged just 89.78 on his way to the last four.
“That was nothing like my best game. My new set up is working brilliantly on the doubles but I’m not finding the big scores at the moment,” said the Dutchman after the conclusion of the match.
“I’ve been struggling with sleep this week and I’m very tired but I have to keep battling and try and improve for the semi with Simon.”
Coverage of today's action will be screened on ITV from 7pm.
Auckland Darts Masters: Schedule & Results
Friday August 3
(All games best of 11 legs)
- Simon Whitlock 6-5 Ben Robb
- Rob Cross 6-5 John Hurring
- Michael Smith 4-6 Mark McGrath
- Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Warren Parry
- Kyle Anderson 6-4 Haupai Puha
- Peter Wright 6-3 Tahuna Irwin
- Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Cody Harris
- Gary Anderson 6-3 Tim Pusey
Saturday July 14
All games best of 19 legs
- Rob Cross 7-10 Simon Whitlock
- Mark McGrath 4-10 Raymond van Barneveld
- Gary Anderson 4-10 Michael van Gerwen
- Peter Wright 10-3 Kyle Anderson
Sunday July 15
(7pm local time, 8am UK time)
All games best of 21 legs
Delayed TV Coverage: ITV4 from 7pm
- Simon Whitlock v Raymond van Barneveld
- Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
- Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2