Peter Wright will face Dimitri Van den Bergh in the 2021 World Matchplay Final.
Wright beat old rival Michael van Gerwen 17-10 in an incredible game, hitting the highest average in World Matchplay semi final history to do so.
Van den Bergh came through Krzysztof Ratajski in The Polish Eagle’s first ever PDC TV semi final. He was 6-2 down, but The Dream Maker won 13 of the next 16 legs to take a 17-9 victory.
It means the former landlord (Wright) meets his former lodger (Van den Bergh) in the final. The Dream Maker stayed with Snakebite during the first coronavirus lockdown, when he could not go home to Belgium.
Wright produces magic against MvG
In a spellbinding semi final, Snakebite hit the highest ever average in a last four game, having to essentially win the game twice against Van Gerwen.
Wright got the first break after three holds, pinging a 96 checkout to go 3-1 in front. He followed it up with a 121 outshot on double 18 for a 12 darter, averaging 113.5 in the first five legs for a 4-1 lead.
Three holds followed, before Van Gerwen hit a 12 dart break on 81 to break and get the game back on throw. However, he then missed three darts to level, despite Wright averaging 113. Snakebite found double three to regain the break and go 6-4 in front at the second interval.
The third session was arguably one of the greatest session of darts from a player. After holding, Wright went back to back for the second time in the game. He then hit treble 20, treble 19, before missing just outside on double 12 for the nine darter. He found it next visit for a 10 to go 8-4 ahead, before hitting back to back 11 darters to go 10-4 in front.
Wright averaged 134.2 after the fourth leg of the third session, but missed six darts to whitewash Van Gerwen. MvG, who missed the bull for a 164, cleaned up 25 to pinch the leg and make it 10-5. He then reeled off three straight legs, pushing his average close to 107 and making it 10-8. However, Snakebite stopped the rot in the 19th leg, holding on double eight before Van Gerwen hit a 72 checkout to make the score 11-9 at the final interval.
The Green Machine left himself on 100 straight afterwards, but Wright effectively won the match with a stunning 149 checkout, to go three ahead once again. Van Gerwen got the next leg, but it did not matter. Wright reeled off the next five legs in 68 darts, ending the match with a 76 checkout for a 12 dart hold. It’s the first time Wright has beaten MvG at the World Matchplay in three attempts.
Van den Bergh beats Ratajski
Wright will meet Van den Bergh in the final, after he came through 17-9 against Krzysztof Ratajski. Both had the same amount of double attempts, with The Polish Eagle finishing 9/37.
Ratajski held, before Van den Bergh bust a 72 outshot by hitting double six instead of double 13. The Polish Eagle, who’d missed bullseye for a 164 the previous visit, got the early break, cleaning up 25 to go 2-0 in front. Three further holds gave the Polish player a 4-1 lead at the first interval.
Both held out of the interval, but Ratajski got his second break of the match, hitting 94 on tops to go 6-2 in front. It could have been 7-2, but he missed two darts to hold his throw, and Van den Bergh took the opportunity, hitting a 72 to cut the gap to three, before holding on double five to trail 6-4 at the second intermission.
The third session saw Ratajski miss nine darts at a double across the five legs, as he lost his range on the outer ring. The defending champion took advantage, whitewashing the session which included a 128 checkout, to move 9-6 in front at the third interval.
Van den Bergh held out of the interval, but Ratajski finally stopped the rot, hitting double eight for his first leg in nine, ending a run of 15 consecutive misses at the outer ring. He then won another two legs, before The Dream Maker hit a 110 outshot to lead 11-9 after the fourth session.
Coming out of the final session interval, Ratajski missed two darts to cut the gap to one again. The Dream Maker, who’d missed bull for a 164, cleaned up 25 for a double break to lead 12-9. Five legs later, including a 112 checkout, Van den Bergh won the contest, hitting double five for a second straight Betfred World Matchplay Final.
Betfred World Matchplay Day Eight Results
Dimitri van den Bergh 17-9 Krzysztof Ratajski
Peter Wright 17-11 Michael Van Gerwen
Betfred World Matchplay Day Nine Schedule of Play
Sunday 25 July (20.30 BST)
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Peter Wright
How can I follow the Betfred World Matchplay?
The Betfred World Matchplay will be live on Sky Sports in the UK. You can also watch it outside the UK via the PDC’s broadcast partners, such as RTL or DAZN.
You can also live stream the event. Find out more here.
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