Van Gerwen enjoys whitewash over Wilson in William Hill World Darts Championship

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Michael van Gerwen  produced a William Hill World Darts Championship whitewash of James Wilson last night as Paul Lim missed double 12 for a sensational nine-dart finish during his defeat to Gary Anderson.

Reigning champion Van Gerwen was in imperious form as he stormed past Wilson by winning 12 straight legs – only to be almost overshadowed by veteran star Lim.

Lim had landed the first World Championship nine-darter in the 1990 event, and almost 28 years on the Singapore ace came within a whisker of repeating the feat on the Alexandra Palace stage.

Anderson celebrated his 47th birthday with a 4-1 victory despite not finding his best form, but Lim got all the plaudits as he was one double 12 away from hitting a nine-darter.

To make matters worse, Lim actually lost that leg – as he did the first seven legs of the match before getting on the board with a brilliant ten-darter – but all talk afterwards was of the 63-year-old coming so close to making more history.

“Paul Lim is an absolute gentleman and still a classy, classy dart player,” said Anderson. “If Paul had got the nine-darter it would have been the best Christmas present ever.

“For Paul to come from the BDO hitting the nine-darter to doing it on this stage would’ve been brilliant. I thought it was in and when he hit the trebles, I thought he’s going to hit this.

“I could have stayed up there all night playing Paul Lim at darts. It was very hard for me tonight because I was playing one of my heroes – I was like a kid in a candy shop.”

Lim, who had defeated Kai Fan Leung and Mark Webster to reach round two, added: “I tell you what I can’t breathe. I’m going to have nightmares tonight I’ll tell you that, but I’ve had a fantastic week.”

Van Gerwen produced the display of the tournament so far as he sent out a message out that he is the man to beat yet again with his 4-0 whitewash of James Wilson.

The defending champion showed why he is again the tournament favourite with a relentless display that resulted in a whopping 108.65 average – the eighth highest in tournament history.

“I think I did everything right at the right moments, hitting 140 or a 180,” said Van Gerwen. “It’s all about not making mistakes and I’ve not been making them for some time now, hopefully I can play like that for the rest of the tournament.

“I’m going to have a happy Christmas now and prepare myself for the last 16 – I feel good.”

Welshman Gerwyn Price has the unenviable task of taking on Van Gerwen next after he produced a fine display of his own to beat Ian White 4-1 to make the last 16 for the first time.

“I’ve been bombed out in the first round for the last three years and put myself under pressure for the first round but I got through that,” said Price.

“I didn’t play so well today but it was just about getting through the game and I did that.”

Mensur Suljovic had to dig deep to see-off Robert Thornton 4-2, with the fifth seed having to come from behind twice and win the last three sets all by a deciding fifth leg.

World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh will play Suljovic in the last 16 after he came through his match with Jan Dekker with a 4-2 victory.

“I’ll take that win,” said Van den Bergh. “It’s a fantastic win because I know me and him played against a seeded player in the first round so anything could happen.

“I need to keep calm but I’ve got to be honest it was harder than I thought it was, it was very hard.”

Vincent van der Voort continued his red-hot start as he defeated Steve Beaton 4-0 to progress to the last 16 without dropping a set.

Former Lakeside Champion Beaton could manage just five legs in the match as Van der Voort recorded his best-ever average in the tournament of 101.17, coupled with seven 180s.

“It’s a really good win – I put Steve under pressure from start to finish so I’m a happy man,” said Van der Voort.

“I think I calmed down after two sets. I was at my best but it’s hard to keep that level up, I knew I was in good shape but I just had to keep it going.”

The second round continues on Saturday with a double session on the final day of action before the Christmas break.

Former World Youth Champions Keegan Brown and Michael Smith take on Austria’s Zoran Lerchbacher and 20th seed Rob Cross respectively, while Steve West and Jermaine Wattimena also face off in the afternoon session.

World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney plays John Henderson to open up the evening session, before 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor meets Justin Pipe and five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld takes on Kyle Anderson.

William Hill World Darts Championship

Preliminary & First Rounds

Second Round

Friday December 22

Afternoon Session

Gerwyn Price 4-1 Ian White

Vincent van der Voort 4-0 Steve Beaton

Jan Dekker 2-4 Dimitri Van den Bergh

Evening Session

Mensur Suljovic 4-2 Robert Thornton

Gary Anderson 4-1 Paul Lim

Michael van Gerwen 4-0 James Wilson

Saturday December 23

Afternoon Session (1pm)

Keegan Brown v Zoran Lerchbacher

Michael Smith v Rob Cross

Steve West v Jermaine Wattimena

Evening Session (7pm)

Daryl Gurney v John Henderson

Phil Taylor v Justin Pipe

Raymond van Barneveld v Kyle Anderson

Second Round – Best of seven sets

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