Betfred World Matchplay quarter-finals: Van den Bergh edges closer to debut TV final

Dimitri Van den Bergh's dream maiden Matchplay appearance continued with a quarter-final victory over Adrian Lewis (Picture: Naomi Baker/Getty Images).

Adrian Lewis was the next former world champion to bow out of the 2020 Betfred World Matchplay as Dimitri Van den Bergh cruised into the last four with a 16-12 victory.

The Belgian averaged 99.67 as he surged into early leads of 6-1 and 8-2, Lewis only coming as close as within three legs of the 26-year-old throughout the entire contest.

Gary AndersonMichael Smith and Glen Durrant filled up the remaining three of Saturday's semi-final spots at the Marshall Arena.

Van den Bergh made surprisingly easy work of English ace Lewis, checking out nearly half of his doubles at the first time of asking - including a spectacular 164 finish - to move one step closer to his first ever televised final.

Though not of the highest quality, the epic clash between Vincent van der Voort and Glen Durrant kept darts fans on the edges of their seats.

Van der Voort led the encounter until its dramatic conclusion, with Durrant's slow start allowing his Dutch opponent to open up several significant leads at 4-1, 6-2 and 10-5.

But Duzza kept clawing his way back into the contest, and checked out 92 to lead for the first time at 15-14, before van der Voort kept his cool and levelled to commence a tie-break.

Durrant saved his best darts until last, checking out at 85, 115 and 75 to claim a famous victory over the Dutchman, who was still infuriated by an earlier foul throw decision by the caller.

Ensuring there would be an Englishman in both semi-finals, Michael Smith battled hard to overcome a determined  Krzysztof Ratajski

The Pole, like Durrant, frustrated his opponent until the very end, but on this occasion was unable to take charge of the encounter.

Ratajski only led on one occasion, punishing some wasteful visits by Smith with a stunning 161 finish to move 8-7 ahead - only for Smith to immediately level.

Though the Polish Eagle continued to dig away at opportunities, Smith found a major breakthrough with four leg wins on the spin, creating enough wiggle room to cross the finish line before Ratajski could make a full recovery.

Next up was Gary Anderson, charged with the task of overcoming in-form Simon Whitlock who had coasted past world number one Michael van Gerwen in the previous round.

The Scot ended the first session in almost the perfect position, leading 4-1 before Whitlock made the second a much tighter affair with a sensational double-bullseye 120 checkout.

But Anderson's consistency and overall superior finishing proved to be a crucial difference between two opponents noted on paper as evenly matched.

Having survived a four-leg fightback from the Australian, Anderson kept Whitlock at arm's length in the final stages of the game and proceeded to the semi-final stage for the fourth time in his Matchplay career.

  • 'I've no idea how I won that game'

Persistence was a key theme of Thursday and Friday evening.

Durrant's performance against van der Voort was undoubtedly below-par, but his never-say-die attitude was what ultimately dragged him over the line.

"I've no idea how I won that game," Durrant told the PDC.

"Vincent will be devastated because the better player lost, but sometimes you need a bit of luck to get you through."

Durrant certainly rode his luck on occasions, taking several visits to finally finish off on a double one in what could only be described as an excruciating leg; had van der Voort been a more ruthless opponent on the day, the score line - and the result with it - would have been much different.

Ratajski put in an equally dogged performance against Michael Smith, but ultimately lacked the cutting edge required to make the final four, whilst Simon Whitlock couldn't live up to the superb standard he set against van Gerwen in round two.

  • A mouth-watering semi-final

Should they perform as well as they did in the final eight, tonight's all-British semi-final between Gary Anderson and Michael Smith should be a gripping contest at the very least.

Anderson has the experience of a Matchplay title under his belt already, but Smith can beat anyone on his day.

Meanwhile, Dimitri Van den Bergh will be hungry for his first televised PDC title, but Unibet Premier League table-topper Durrant knows all too well that he can turn a tie on its head without even entering top gear.

Regardless of tonight's results, fans can expect a superb finale on Sunday evening.