Michael Smith. Picture: Ian Currie
Michael Smith. Picture: Ian Currie

Aussie falls short at Melbourne Darts Masters

GARY Anderson will take aim at close friend Michael Smith in the Melbourne Darts Masters semi-final on Sunday night after seeing off the challenge of Australian qualifier Damon Heta at Hisense Arena on Saturday night.

Anderson had to stave off a rally from Perth's Heta, who had upset fellow Aussie and best mate Kyle Anderson on night one in Melbourne.

The Flying Scotsman eventually held off Heta to win 10-7 and said he hoped there was more to come against his good friend in the last four.

"Friday I played really well but Saturday I was not quite on it," he said.

"I am glad it was a longer game tonight because in the short format anything can happen. But in the longer form you can make a few mistakes and hopefully get back in the game."

Smith, who won the Shanghai Masters last month, produced a great comeback to defeat world champion Rob Cross in a thriller 10-9 in the opening quarter-final.

Michael van Gerwen is in the other semi-final.
Michael van Gerwen is in the other semi-final.

The St Helens man was 9-6 down but produced finishes of 120, 107, 99 and 122 to claim a remarkable win and set up the clash with Anderson.

The Scot said he was looking forward to playing his mate but was aiming to make it to the final.

"I need to up my game but so does he," Anderson said.

"Rob let him off tonight but hopefully I won't let him off tomorrow.

"Michael is superb on the practise boards and once he brings that to the big stage he will walk everything and I have been saying that for years.

"But he's still got to take that step.

"If I play my game I will win, if I don't, I will get an early night."

On the other side of the draw, Peter Wright was too good for Dutch five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld 10-4.

Wright will play Michael van Gerwen in the semi-final.

Van Gerwen, who won the Auckland Masters last week, survived a big scare against Aussie favourite Simon Whitlock, who took an 8-4 lead in their quarter-final.

Whitlock then had chances to stretch the lead and upset the world No.1 but could not take them.

Van Gerwen fought back to take the next six legs to win the match 10-8.


Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright

Gary Anderson v Michael Smith.