Van Gerwen beats Littler to win Premier League night two in Berlin


Van Gerwen beats Littler to win Premier League night two in Berlin

Michael van Gerwen defeated Luke Littler in the final in Berlin
Michael van Gerwen defeated Luke Littler in the final in BerlinProfimedia
Michael van Gerwen beat teenage sensation Luke Littler to win the second night of the Premier League Darts 2024 in Berlin

Littler was able to get a win over Luke Humphries in semi-finals, before losing to the world number two at the last hurdle.

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Nathan Aspinall 4-6 Michael van Gerwen

Both players lost their quarter-finals on the first night of play and so were yearning for their first success in this edition of the Premier League. The first leg was for the novice darter, Aspinall, who was put under considerable pressure by Van Gerwen. However, the Dutchman was broken in the second leg with 11 darts from the Englishman. With two 180s, Aspinall made a big move towards a 13-darter for 3-0.

Statistics Aspinall-Van Gerwen
Statistics Aspinall-Van GerwenPDC

In leg four, Van Gerwen escaped three darts for a break and made it 3-1 via double-tops in 16 darts. Aspinall needed a throw-out of 100 to make it 4-1. With a 120-out throw, the Kale Sloopkogel from Vlijmen came back to 4-2. Aspinall failed to throw out 120 in the seventh leg, but got a second chance when Van Gerwen missed double-18. Van Gerwen did break back in the next turn, with his third dart: 4-3. The eighth leg was then a regular 15-darter towards 4-4. Van Gerwen then broke again to win the fourth leg in a row: 5-4. Aspinall's decline was extreme and Van Gerwen took advantage in 'his' tenth leg with double-12 to conclude: 6-4. It has kicked off at the Mercedez Benz Arena.

Michael Smith 6-5 Gerwyn Price

In the second quarter-final of the evening, Smith was immediately surprised by Price, who lost to Smith in Cardiff last week. Price then held his own leg and in the third leg broke his opponent again for a very smooth 3-0 lead. In the fourth leg, it was Smith who started to find the triples again a bit and also grabbed a re-break for 1-3.

Smith then also managed to keep his own leg and even threw out a 170 for 2-3 in 13 darts. Price missed a unique opportunity to throw out 146 and was broken back again and so the score was back to square one: 3-3 and it was effectively a best-of-five for a spot in the semi-finals. He struck in his own leg, making it the fourth leg in a row for Smith: 4-3. Price managed to keep his next leg for 4-4, ending the streak. Leg nine also went without surprise again: 5-4. Price popped a 170 for 5-5 and in the 'grande finale' Smith struck with his seventh 180 and a double-six: 6-5. Smith will meet Van Gerwen in the first semi-final later this evening.

Luke Littler 6-5 Rob Cross

Littler started his first appearance in Berlin, in front of his largest ever indoor audience, 'just' with a 180 and got off to a 1-0 lead rather unchallenged via double-5 and a 13-darter. At the recent World Championship, Littler had still won over Cross in the semi-finals. Cross then also held his own leg: 1-1. Littler was scoring well and also threw out 130: 2-1. In Cross' leg, a 103 out meant the first break: 3-1.

Statistics Littler-Cross
Statistics Littler-CrossPDC

With an average of 113+, Littler started the second part of the match, but had a dip in his scoring and was broken back: 3-2. Cross then also made it 3-3. In leg seven, Littler left double-20 with nine arrows and was hit by the 11th arrow for double-10: 4-3. With a 144-out throw, Cross made it 4-4. Leg nine was again pretty convincing for Littler, but he still missed the first three arrows on a double, but hit the fourth: 5-4. Cross was not pressured, but missed six darts on a double, before making it 5-5 with his seventh. Littler had saved his strength for the 11th leg and finished off via an unusual double-15: 6-5.

Luke Humphries 6-4 Peter Wright

In the fourth quarter-final, world champion Humphries started his leg with a 180 and the world number one also immediately took the first leg. Wright is struggling with quite a form crisis but managed to level the score in the leg he was allowed to start: 1-1. The world number one took the lead for the second time: 2-1. Humphries got a (missed) jug on bulleye and then saw Wright throw out on double-20: 2-2. The surprising break was a fact in the fifth leg for 'Snake Bite': 2-3.

In the sixth leg, Wright was able to throw out 167 but failed and then had to watch Humphries break back: 3-3. Humphries then made it 4-3 and was super efficient with his ejections (four from seven) in that phase. Wright did not let himself be broken and made it 4-4. Humphries put himself in pole position with the win in the ninth leg: 5-4. In the tenth leg, Humphries struck in 11 legs with an unusual double-8 and double-8: 6-4. One Luke will meet another in the second semi-final.


Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Michael Smith

Michael Smith got to start against his first-name counterpart in the semi-final and also retained his own leg fairly unchallenged. Van Gerwen then seized the first opportunity in his own leg: 1-1. Van Gerwen then also immediately struck in the leg of Smith, who struggled to score: 2-1. The fourth leg was also a triumph for Van Gerwen, who thus made three in a row for 3-1. Smith had a chance to throw out 124 in his own leg and then got a second chance, but failed badly and saw Van Gerwen strike on the double-5: 4-1. Things then went briefly wrong in his own leg for the Dutchman and it came to a re-break: 2-4.

Smith also held his own in the following leg and came back to 3-4. In the eighth leg, Smith had five perfect arrows and that was the basis for a leg in 11 arrows for a 4-4 interval. Smith thus took back control and had a strong leg. Four in a row for 5-4. Van Gerwen neatly retained the tenth leg and so it went to the deciding leg. Van Gerwen put the pressure on with six perfect darts 'against the darts' and was on 141 with his opponent already on 167. Van Gerwen got a retake on 48 and threw himself single-16 and double-16 to the final in Berlin!

Luke Littler 6-5 Luke Humphries

The second semi-final was a repeat of the World Championship final between the two Lukes. Littler had the advantage of being allowed to start and the first four legs also went without surprises: 2-2. In the fifth leg, Humphries managed to break his opponent with three very strong scoring innings: 3-2. The sixth leg was the strongest of the match with no less than five scores of 140 or more and Humphries on a 4-2 lead.

Statistics Littler-Humphries
Statistics Littler-HumphriesPDC

In the seventh leg, Littler brought back the deficit before keeping his cool in the eighth leg to register 4-4. Despite two hefty scores from Humphries, Littler held the ninth leg (5-4) and the tenth leg was especially exciting. Humphries prevailed and so a decisive 11th leg had to be the deciding factor. For the fourth time in six duels on this night. Littler took a mini revenge for the lost World Championship final in the eleventh leg: 6-5.


Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Luke Littler

In the final in Berlin, Luke Littler managed to treat his Dutch opponent to an immediate break and was seemingly unmoved in his own leg to be the first to throw out. With a 12-darter and a 14-darter, Littler did have a smooth start: 2-0. Van Gerwen then did manage to keep his second leg after Littler missed a chance at 155: 1-2. The next leg started very badly for Littler, allowing Van Gerwen to strike in a very controlled way and equalise: 2-2. The Dutchman had a taste for it and started hitting the triples and made it 3-2 with an 11-darter.

Littler kept his own, sixth, leg to make it 3-3 before Van Gerwen kept his own leg back on board to make it 4-3. Littler kept his cool and made it 4-4, reducing the final match to a best-of-three. In the ninth leg, Van Gerwen threw his third 180 of the evening and seemed to go off unthreatened at 5-4, but still made it a little too exciting. Leg 10 was a triumph for Littler and Van Gerwen seemed to save his strength for the fifth and final decisive leg of the evening: 5-5.

With a record 75 out of a possible 77 legs, the crowd in Germany got good value for money. Van Gerwen started without triples and Littler emulated him. Van Gerwen took a nice jump with a 180, but moments later Littler also threw in three triples. Van Gerwen threw out 122 and missed the bullseye. Littler then got two matchdarts on double-10 and missed twice. Van Gerwen got two on double-8 and took the day's victory via double-4. With that, Van Gerwen took the win in Berlin.

The daily average of 100.47 from Cardiff was just not broken on this evening in Berlin (100.45).

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