Reigning PDC World Dartschampion Michael van Gerwen will play the Scot, Gary Anderson in this year’ssemi-finals after both men won their quarter-finals yesterday evening at theAlexandra Palace. Anderson overcame last year’s beaten finalist Peter Wright witha dominant display by five sets to one, seemingly hitting his top form at justthe right moment. Ranked four in the PDC tournament he was the better playerthroughout against Wright, with an impressive match average of 102.12, elevenmaximum 180 scores and twenty-five scores of 140-plus. For his part, Wrightseemed unable to match the consistency of his fellow Scot, who took the firstset 3-1 and then took out 170 and 121 finishes to go two sets up.

Wright halved the arrears byedging the third set but could never quite get on terms with his assuredopponent, who rattled through the rest of the required sets to set up amouthwatering battle with the favourite, van Gerwen in the semi-finals onSaturday. Anderson will be looking to go one better than the runners-upposition he achieved in 2011 and also hoping that the pain he has beensuffering from an abscess on his tooth does not trouble him further.

Van Gerwen beat rookie PDC quarter-finalist RobertThornton in the first match on the oche last night, as he continued his aim ofwinning back to back world titles. Prior to facing ‘Mighty Mike’, Thornton wasyet to drop a set in the tournament so expectations were high of a tight tusslebetween the pair.

So it proved, although the final score of 5-2 wasslightly harsh on Thornton who pushed the Dutchman for much of the match. Ittook an astounding three dart average of 105.26 (reaching a peak of over 112 atone point early in the match) across the contest with thirteen 180s toeventually put paid to Thornton’s resilience, despite his rival averaging101.49 and outscoring the top seed with fourteen maximums himself.

Van Gerwen had battled his way to a seemingly unassailable three sets tonil lead, despite his opponent twice hitting checkouts of over 100 in set two, beforeThornton began to gain a tangible reward for his efforts on the scoreboard. Aneleven dart leg saw him clinch set four to give some hope to the fans of ‘TheThorn’, although even then he was thankful for van Gerwen’s narrow miss on a170 finish that would have seen him take the set instead. His chances improvedfurther of making a real game of it when he also took the fifth set as hisrival lost form temporarily. The world champion showed his matchplay abilitiesto take the crucial sixth set on the fifth leg, as Thornton began to feel thepressure, and wrapped the match up in the next set with a stunning 170 checkout. A relieved van Gerwen knows that he canexpect an even tougher match in the semis against the consistent Anderson.

Theremaining quarter-finals will be played later today, with Phil Taylor due toplay Dutchman Vincent van der Voort and a classic encounter is expected whenfive-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld takes on rising star StephenBunting. The 29-year-old is a recent convert to the PDC as he moved across soonafter winning this year's BDO world title and harbours aspirations of becomingthe first player to complete the double of holding both titles at the same time(although he will shortly lose his BDO title as he is not competing in thatthis year).