MVG avoids given Cullen scare

31 December 2020 02:13:41 GMTPlus11

Michael van Gerwen survived a massive scare to reach the World Championship quarter-finals after a "brilliant game" against Joe Cullen.

Dutch darting ace Van Gerwen eventually came through 4-3 in a classic at Alexandra Palace and not before Cullen had a couple of darts to eliminate the three-time world champion.

First Cullen missed a bullseye as he failed to close out the seventh set when looking to checkout on 90 and then he failed to spectacularly take out 164 - again on the bull - before Van Gerwen used all of his experience to see out the match with a 14-dart leg.

Cullen hit 19 maximum 180s in a match which had 37 scores over 170 with Van Gerwen averaging over 100.

On a dramatic day where James Wade had a nine-darter despite losing 4-2 against Stephen Bunting, Krzysztof Ratajski became the first Polish player to reach the quarter-finals after coming through 4-3 against German giant Gabriel Clemens.

It got tense with so much riding on the final leg of the encounter, Ratajski finally landed the madhouse of double one and said it was an "emotional" match.

However, the night belonged to Van Gerwen and the Dutchman told the PDC's official website: "That was a brilliant game and the adrenaline was pumping.

"Joe had the chance to beat me and his scoring power was phenomenal. I had to keep up with it, which wasn't easy so I'm really glad I'm through.

"It's horrible for Joe but I have been in that position so many times and it makes you stronger. I am so glad I won this one."

Michael van Gerwen is 1212/1 to win the PDC World Championship 2021 with Krzysztof Ratajski at 1212/1.

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