World Champion Michael Smith kicked off his bid for a maiden Cazoo Masters title with victory over Ross Smith, as five-time winner Michael van Gerwen and 2020 champion Peter Wright also enjoyed wins on Day Two in Milton Keynes.
Saturday’s second round action at the Marshall Arena saw Rob Cross and Gary Anderson create Masters history in their high-quality tussle, with Van Gerwen, Wright and Michael Smith all safely advancing to the last eight.
In a repeat of October’s European Championship final, Michael Smith gained revenge against his namesake Ross, who took out 126, 130 and 136 combinations to establish an early 4-2 lead.
The world number one’s superior scoring power saw him regain control, but the European Champion refused to relent, following up his fourth 180 with a 15-dart break to edge 7-6 ahead.
Nevertheless, the World Champion delivered a resounding riposte, winning four legs on the spin to power to victory with a 98 average, eight 180s and a 47% checkout success rate.
“The reception I got was unreal and I need to get used to it quick, because I was too busy enjoying it,” quipped Smith, who will take on UK Open champion Danny Noppert for a place in the semi-finals.
“That first session when Ross checked out 126 and 130, I thought it was the European Championship all over again!
“Every single time he left a ton-plus finish he hit it, but I stepped in, I took my chances and I’m glad to get the job done.”
Sunday’s final stages will see the quarter-finals take place in the afternoon session, before the semi-finals and final are held in a bumper evening session at the Marshall Arena.
Click here to view Results & Match Stats
Saturday January 28
Danny Noppert 10-9 Stephen Bunting
Rob Cross 10-6 Gary Anderson
Jonny Clayton 10-3 James Wade
Chris Dobey 10-8 Luke Humphries
Second Round x4
Dirk van Duijvenbode 10-8 Gerwyn Price
Peter Wright 10-7 Dave Chisnall
Michael Smith 10-7 Ross Smith
Michael van Gerwen 10-7 Jose de Sousa
Sunday January 29
Afternoon Session (1245 GMT)
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Chris Dobey
Michael Smith v Danny Noppert
Peter Wright v Jonny Clayton
Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
Semi-Finals & Final
Images: “Taylor Lanning/PDC”