World Darts Championship: Saturday semi-final tips
With #BetYourWay available on both last-four matches, we've crafted a tempting 18/1 shot for Taylor against Lewis, and a safer 15/2 bet for MVG v Cross.
Taylor to win –
Having had to battle past Gary Anderson just to make it this far, it is almost unfathomable that Taylor’s fairytale goodbye will be cut short by a qualifier who is only just inside the world’s top 50.
Lewis has been sensational so far and is sure to give the Power a good game, but there’s no way the 26-year-old will outwit the master of mind games.
Over 8.5 sets –
Lewis has only lost two sets up to this point which, remarkably, is half as many as Taylor.
The short turnaround for the self-professed old man compared to more than 24 hours of rest and practice for the underdog should ensure a relatively competitive semi-final.
Taylor to score four or more 100+ finishes –
Taylor has hit three ton-plus finishes in each of the last two rounds, with a 99 to boot in both.
The best-of-11 format in the last four means he’ll get plenty more opportunities to showcase that quality combination finishing on Saturday.
Lewis to hit the most 180s –
Lewis hit another 14 maximums against Darren Webster to take his tally for the tournament to 39.
The consistency with which he’s hit the treble-20 bed with his first dart has been a stand-out feature of his run to the semi-finals, and is about the only thing that Taylor will struggle to match.
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN v ROB CROSS
As Van Gerwen was quick to remind everybody in his post-match interview after booking his place in the last four, Cross has never beaten him in a televised event.
The Englishman struggled to see the game out against Dimitri van den Bergh, and it is those sorts of wobbles that mean it’s hard to see him getting over the line against the world No. 1.
Over 8.5 sets –
Both these players went to a deciding set in their quarter-finals, while Cross also went the distance against Michael Smith in the second round.
Cross pushed MVG all the way in a 16-13 defeat in the last eight of the Grand Slam of Darts last month, so don’t be surprised if this is another game that ends up going deep.
Over 26.5 180s –
Even playing way below his best, MVG has hit a dozen maximums in each of the last two rounds.
Cross came up with 11 of his own in the quarters despite going off the boil in the latter half of the match so, in a best-of-11 format, this benchmark is easily achievable.
Three or fewer 100+ checkouts in the match -
Cross’ game is built on consistent scoring rather than spectacular finishing, with 88 his highest checkout in the last round.
MVG only managed one ton-plus checkout in 40 legs against Barney and, though still ruthless in the eighties and nineties, his scratchy form means we’re unlikely to see many three-figure finishes.