Gary Anderson and Michael Smith will clash for a place in the final of the Melbourne Darts Masters.

The Team Unicorn duo completed contrasting victories on Saturday night at the Hisense Arena....Smith won four consecutive legs to beat Rob Cross in a thriller, while Anderson had to grind out a 10-7 victory over Australian qualifier Damon Heta.

Smith was exceptional. A fantastic fightback to stun the World Champion and just reward for a battling performance. The only time the Unicorn man was in front in the entire game was when he hit the winning D7.

But it was a stunning comeback as he won the last four legs to come from 6-9 down with a fabulous display of finishing.

“I always thought I could find a way back,” he said. “I missed a few chances early on in the match but when my finishing came good, I knew I had a chance and after the disappointment of losing in Auckland this is a big win for me.”

A superb 132 finish on the bull drew Smith level at three apiece after Cross had taken out 150....he then missed darts for finishes of 145, 167 and 148 and was playing catch up again. And when the Unicorn man missed three doubles in the 15th leg to gift Cross a 9-6 lead, it looked to be all over.

But think again!

What a golden run from Smith....he nailed a 120 finish, then took out 107 with Cross sat on ‘tops’ for the match, next came a cool as you like 99 check-out and after his opponent missed one dart at bull in the deciding leg, the St Helens star hit a brilliant 122 finish to win the match!

It was tough going for Anderson though as he struggled with the slow pace of Aussie opponent Heta. After taking out a superb 141, Gary went on a run of five straight legs to lead 8-3.

He missed a dart at D16 to go 9-3 up and then missed four darts to win 10-6 before finally getting the job done.

It should be a cracker between him and Smith on Sunday at the Hisense Arena.

Elsewhere, Simon Whitlock blew his chance to beat Michael van Gerwen. He was 8-4 in front but the pressure of the finishing line told and he lost 8-10. It was his 14th consecutive defeat against the Dutchman.

Q/Final results:

Rob Cross 9-10 Michael Smith

Peter Wright 10-4 Raymond van Barneveld

Gary Anderson 10-7 Damon Heta

Michael van Gerwen 10-8 Simon Whitlock


Gary Anderson v Michael Smith

Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright

By STUART PYKE in Melbourne

Photos courtesy PDC