MVG hammers Lewis to reach final
Michael van Gerwen crushed Adrian Lewis 6-0 to set up a PDC World Championship final against Peter Wright at Alexandra Palace.
The second semi-final between two-time champion Lewis and Van Gerwen had been hotly-anticipated but the Stoke thrower could not hit his doubles and last-year's finalist took advantage in devastating fashion.
Earlier in the evening, Wright had beaten Simon Whitlock 6-2 to make his way into his first final where he will be a massive underdog against the Dutchman.
Van Gerwen, who is a prolifically quick thrower, raced into the lead as he took the first leg against the darts and then finished the set with a 12-darter.
The second was a tighter affair with both men playing to an outstanding standard as Van Gerwen took his maximum tally to five and Lewis hit a 158 checkout in the fourth leg. But it was the Dutchman who took the fifth to move two ahead.
Lewis hit his fifth 180 in the first leg of the third but missed six attempts at double and Van Gerwen punished him to take the set 3-1.
The fourth set was a masterclass from the world number two who checked out 121 and 154 to take it 3-0 and, despite letting slip the first leg in the next, he took advantage of more missed doubles from Lewis to go 5-0 up.
The world number three showed some spirit as he fought back from two legs down in the sixth but Van Gerwen claimed the decider on double-11 to complete a convincing win.
"In the end the score looked a bit easier than it actually was," Van Gerwen told Sky Sports 1.
"I won 6-0 but I did it in the right moments. I came to the front at the beginning of the game and that was very important for me to give me confidence.
"Ady was struggling on his finishes and his doubles and in important moments he didn't do well, and I took advantage of that."
The earlier semi-final was a more low-key affair but Wright showed impressive form as he averaged 100.24 on his way to victory.
Wright began with a 13-darter to break the throw and easily took the first set 3-1 before going two legs up in the second.
Whitlock pulled that back to 2-2 but Wright checked out 61 on double-top to move into a 2-0 lead.
The Scotsman then took the third set but Whitlock, who has appeared in the final of both forms of the World Championship, is made of stern stuff and fought back to claim the fourth set 3-1.
Wright, however, was in insatiable form and claimed the next two sets 3-1 and 3-0 to move within touching distance of the final.
When Whitlock was broken in the next leg, it looked as if the 43-year-old would cruise to the New Year's Day showpiece but he began to show some nerves and poor scoring led to him surrendering a 2-1 lead.
A seventh double-16 finish then saw Wright level things up but Whitlock held his nerve on double-top in the next to get a set back.
The man known as 'Snakebite' went 2-0 up in the eighth and had the darts in his hand to go through but again showed nerves as he gifted his Australian opponent a leg.
There was to be no further reprieve, though, and he finished the match on double-eight to move into his first World Championship final.
"I'm pretty emotional right now as I've just realised what I've achieved," Wright told www.pdc.tv.
"I held myself together well throughout. My finishing was excellent - particularly on double 16 - and I didn't give Simon a sniff at any stage.
"I knew that I've been playing really well throughout the last 12 months, and I've managed to keep that form going into the biggest tournament in the game."