By Alex Moss
1 JANUARY 2017 • 10:56PM
Michael van Gerwen set a record World Championship average as he beat Raymond van Barneveld 6-2 in the semi-finals of the PDC World Championship.
The world number one averaged 114.05, the highest ever average in a World Championship match, and hit 15 180s to see off van Barneveld and set up a final with defending champion Gary Anderson tomorrow.
The outright tournament favourite, who missed double 12 for a nine darter in the eighth set, dropped the opening set before winning six of the next seven sets to beat a spirited van Barneveld, who himself averaged 109.34, the highest losing average in a World Championship match, and fired in 14 180s in defeat.
Van Barneveld breezed through the first set with checkouts of 107, 131 and 96 in straight legs, while his opponent van Gerwen managed just one score of 140 or above during the opening set.
Van Gerwen opened his account with a 124 checkout after the break, before van Barneveld threatened to go two sets in front with a 160 finish giving him a 2-1 lead in the set.
The 12th seed left double 12 in each of the next two legs but crucially would not get a shot in either leg, as van Gerwen took out 114 on tops in the fourth leg and then he hit the same target in the decider to level up the match.
Van Barneveld held throw with double 18 at the start of the third set, but van Gerwen responded with three legs on the spin in 13, 13 and 10 darts to take the set and go 2-1 in front.
Barney threatened the first nine darter of the tournament as he kicked off the fourth set with two 180s, eventually finishing the leg in 11 darts before checking out 127 on double eight for a 20 lead in the set.
As van Barneveld checked out on double 10 to clinch the fourth set 3-1, van Gerwen was averaging 114.71 and his compatriot 113.94, with the highest average in a World Championship match in real danger of being broken by two players in the same match.
The record for most 180s in a PDC World Championship, which was broken last year with 654, was usurped again as van Gerwen fired in another 180 early on in the fifth set, the 655th of this year’s tournament.
Van Barneveld finished off the first leg in 11 darts, but van Gerwen took control after that with another three leg burst, including 12 and 11 darters, as he regained the lead again at 3-2.
Van Gerwen clinched the next two sets 3-1 to move within a set of victory, with van Barneveld averaging 110.58 and hitting 75 per cent of his doubles at that point but powerless to the top seed’s barrage of scoring.
A narrow miss on double 12 for the nine darter followed at the start of set eight, which van Gerwen won 3-1 with two double 18s for a 90 checkout to advance to the final.