Gary Anderson hit a nine-dart finish in a quite astonishing World Matchplay quarter-final triumph against Joe Cullen - in which he also survived two match darts.
By Chris Hammer
In the fourth leg of one of the most thrilling televised matches you'll ever see, the Flying Scotsman nailed two 180s before going treble 20, treble 19, double 12 to send the Winter Gardens crowd into pandemonium.
It was the seventh perfect leg in World Matchplay history and earned the world number four a bonus of £45,000 - making it the most lucrative nine-darter in history.
If that wasn't enough he followed it up with a 141 checkout in the very next leg to open up a 3-2 lead with an incredible average of 121 - but that wouldn't last long as Cullen fought back.
The impressive Rockstae refused to lie down and went toe-to-toe with his legendary opponent and in the 19th leg it was his turn to bring the crowd to their feet again - if they had actually sat down in the meantime - by landing his second 170 checkout of the tournament to go 10-9 up.
The Bradford man, who has finally been showing his rich potential on second biggest darting stage of them all, promised a big upset by moving 12-10 clear but Anderson used all his experience to claw his way back into this absorbing contest.
Cullen found double top with his last dart in hand to break and go 15-14 up and then missed two match darts, at double 18 and double nine, the second of which saw a fly go across the eye-line of the Bradford star.
Anderson capitalised, hitting double top to level once again at 15-15 before the pair exchanged two holds of throw each to leave the tie finely poised at 17-17.
The two-time world champion, who has never lifted this prestigious trophy during his glittering career, then claimed back-to-back 14-darters to him claim a memorable triumph.
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Sky Bet's World Matchplay Odds
- Anderson - 5/6
- Wright - 7/2
- De Zwaan - 13/2
- Suljovic - 8/1
- Whitlock - 22/1
- Webster - 28/1
"I fancied hitting the nine-darter tonight, I told my wife I thought I would do it tonight," said Anderson, who is through to the semi-finals for a third time. "Hitting the nine-darter so early was actually the worst thing I did because it gave me time to think about it and I missed a lot more darts at tops than I normally do.
"Joe played well, he's been playing well for the last few games so it's great to get the win over a top player. Next up it's Jeffrey who has been the player of the tournament for me. Whoever wins this tournament will have to beat him."
The Flying Scotsman ended with an average of 97 compared to Cullen's 95 while he also threw 14 180s (Cullen hit seven) and his checkout percentage was 33.33%.
Anderson remains tournament favourite and will next face Jeffrey de Zwaan, who upset the odds for the third time in a row to defeat Dave Chisnall 16-8 with another stunning display.
The 22-year-old, who began the tournament as a 750/1 outsider, stunned Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis in his previous two encounters and once again proved he's a star in the making by reeling off nine of the final 10 legs to accelerate to continue his dream week in Blackpool.
Thursday's results & Friday schedule
Thursday July 26
Quarter-Finals (Best of 31 legs)
- Jeffrey De Zwaan 16-8 Dave Chisnall
- Joe Cullen 17-19 Gary Anderson
Friday July 27 (1900 BST)
Quarter-Finals (Best of 31 legs)
TV Channel: Sky Sports
- Simon Whitlock v Peter Wright
- Mensur Suljovic v Darren Webster