Impressive Michael Smith sees off John Henderson as Dimitri van den Bergh crashes out of PDC World Championship
Michael Smith cemented his position as one of the PDC World Championship favourites with an impressive 4-2 win over John Henderson in the third round on Thursday afternoon.
Smith was made to work hard by Big John and he responded well, averaging over 100, hitting nine maximums and checking out at 47%.
Henderson had been 1-0 and 2-1 ahead, and was seriously threatening an upset, but as the Scot failed to maintain his form, the Englishman moved through the gears and won three sets on the spin, dropping just one leg in that time, to claim the match.
Bully Boy now plays Ryan Searle in the last 16 and will be favourite to progress to a second World Championship quarter-final.
There was a surprise result earlier in the afternoon when Luke Humphries dumped Dimitri van den Bergh out of the tournament at the third round stage.
Neither player was at their best, but it proved to be the marginally superior finishing that edged the contest in the favour of the Englishman. Van den Bergh could only land eight of 21 attempts at double and, despite averaging more, hitting more maximums and landing a higher checkout, it was this that made the difference.
Humphries nicked the first two sets in a deciding leg before the Belgian looked a lot more like it in the third, reducing his deficit thanks to two maximums.
Cool Hand was not to be denied, though, as he averaged 103 to win the fourth set and then comfortably held Dimitri at bay in the fifth to win it with a clean sweep and set up a match with Rob Cross in the last 16.
The first match of the night saw Devon Petersen score arguably the biggest win of his career by beating Steve West to reach the last 16 and keep hold of his Tour Card for next season.
Things looked ominous for the South African when West averaged over 104 in the first set, winning it 3-0 and not missing a dart at a double. However, Petersen battled hard to win the second set and then was sensational to win the third with a 107 average.
West took the next but that was as good as it got for him as he somehow managed to lose the fifth despite averaging 103.4 compared to the African Warriors 91.2.
That seemed to take the wind out of Wests sails and Devon strolled to victory in the sixth set to set up a last 16 tie with Nathan Aspinall.