Grand Slam of Darts: Phil Taylor destroys Daryl Gurney 16-4 as MVG wins an epic against Rob Cross

Darts
Michael van Gerwen beat Rob Cross in a thrilling clash (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Michael van Gerwen beat Rob Cross in a thrilling clash (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Phil Taylor produced a vintage display of high scoring and lethal finishing to destroy Daryl Gurney 16-4 - and he'll need to do the same when he faces Michael van Gerwen in Sunday's Grand Slam of Darts semi-finals in Wolverhampton.

The Power, who is now a Price Boosted 11/2 with Sky Bet for the title, rolled back the years as he averaged 103.97, nailed 16 of his 24 darts at doubles and bagged four 100+ checkouts including a best of 137.

It was a brutal one-sided display in which Taylor won 12 legs without reply from 4-4 as Gurney failed to live with the 57-year-old's all-round brilliance.

In fact the World Grand Prix champion, whose chances of being the 'future of darts' was dismissed by Taylor on Thursday night, only had five darts to win a leg from 4-4 and four of those came in the same leg. The other was a shot at the bullseye when trailing 9-4.

He'd started well enough with a 115 checkout and initially showed he was up for a fight when battling back from 3-1 down to be level after eight legs - but that's as good as it got.

Taylor is aiming for a seventh Grand Slam title on his final appearance here before his retirement at the end of the season and will next face arch-rival and 8/11 tournament favourite van Gerwen on Sunday afternoon after the two-time defending champion edged out rising star Rob Cross 16-13 in a thrilling match of the highest quality.

The pair hit 21 180s between them, with MVG firing 11, while the Dutchman nailed four 100+ checkouts compared to Cross' three and both were supreme on their finishing from just 25 attempts at doubles apiece.

Rising star 'Voltage', who is already regarded as one of the PDC circuit's most dangerous players having won four titles in his debut season, has gone from strength to strength on the televised stage in Wolverhampton with a string of superb performances and pushed MVG hard in their eighth meeting and seventh of 2017, including their clash in the group stages.

The 27-year-old former electrician, who had only beaten his opponent once before, opened the match with back-to-back checkouts of 127 and 112 and although van Gerwen immediately responded with three legs in succession, Cross held his own before further underlining his ability under pressure when landing a match high 131 checkout en route to going 9-7 up.

After the next two legs were shared, the world number one dug deep to win three legs on the trot and at 11-11 he delivered a crucial blow with a 122 checkout on the bullseye which was followed by another finish from 108 before taking the next for a 14-11 lead.

There was yet more thrills in the 27th leg when a 180 from Cross was sandwiched between back-to-back maximums from MVG on his way to a 12-darter and while the Englishman did pull one back, the match fittingly ended with another 100+ checkout - 110.

Van Gerwen told www.pdc.tv: "I'm really happy with this win. I played really well at the beginning of the game and I think he also played a phenomenal game. I can do better and I will need to tomorrow. I don't want to let myself down and tomorrow is going to be a big game and I want to beat Phil. It's one of the last chances and I want to take it with two hands.

"Phil doesn't have anything to lose. I'm the favourite (2/7 with Sky Bet) and I have to do it, but I know I can handle the pressure and I've handled it for the last three years so why not now.

"He's the greatest who ever played and I've got a lot of respect for that man, but not tomorrow. I want to perform well - I don't want to give him a finger because he takes your hand."

Earlier, the Power (13/5 to beat MVG), who hit seven 180s and also managed checkouts of 115, 126 and 132 during his win, told www.pdc.tv: "I'm delighted to be through and I can get ready for Sunday now. My finishing was brilliant tonight - I put him under pressure and that was the intention.

"I thought I might give him a game because he's younger, he's fresher and at the minute he's probably playing better than I am. I did a couple of good finishes there against him and put him under pressure. It won't do him any harm, he needs to learn. He needs to re-evaluate what he's doing, re-evaluate his career.

"He's a cracking player and if I managed him he would win everything because he's one hell of a dart player, but his attitude is wrong. He needs to enjoy it more."

Sky Bet tournament odds

Sky Bet have Price Boosted the title odds of the four remaining players...

  • Michael van Gerwen - 8/11 (was 4/6)
  • Gary Anderson - 7/2 (was 100/30)
  • Phil Taylor - 11/2 (was 5/1)
  • Peter Wright - 11/1 (was 9/1)

CLICK HERE FOR FINALS DAY PREDICTIONS & BEST BETS

Saturday's Grand Slam of Darts results & Sunday schedule

Saturday November 18
Quarter-Finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • Phil Taylor 16-4 Daryl Gurney
  • Michael van Gerwen 16-13 Rob Cross

Sunday November 18
Afternoon Session (1pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Action
Semi-finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • Peter Wright v Gary Anderson
  • Michael van Gerwen v Phil Taylor

CLICK HERE FOR FINALS DAY PREDICTIONS & BEST BETS

Evening Session (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Main Event/Arena
Final (Best of 31 legs)

  • Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2

CLICK HERE FOR FULL TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE, RESULTS & GROUP STANDINGS

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