Webster cruises into last 16 of World Championships

Darren Webster during day nine of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, Lo

Darren Webster during day nine of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday December 23, 2016. See PA story DARTS World. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information. - Credit: PA

Norwich's Darren Webster turned on the style on Friday evening to set up a potential third round showdown with world No 1 Michael van Gerwen in the PDC William Hill World Championships.

Webster breezed through to the last 16 with a hugely impressive 4-0 win over 17th seed Simon Whitlock at the Alexandra Palace.

There was a 180 in each of the first four legs, three for Whitlock, which all went with the throw, before Webster took out 81 to break in the deciding leg. Whitlock hit his fourth 180 but lost the first leg of the second set before levelling by nailing double eight.

The Australian added a fifth maximum in the following leg but again lost it and Webster went on to take the set in four legs.

Both players hit 180s in the first leg of the third as Webster broke Whitlock's throw with an 89 finish. Webster landed his fifth maximum and pinned tops before Whitlock's seventh 180 helped him pull a leg back but Webster took out 112 to take the set.

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Needing just one more set for victory, Webster took out 82 to win the first leg but Whitlock levelled. Webster landed tops before an 89 finish kept the 2010 runner-up in the match but a brilliant 140 finish saw Webster claim a superb win in which he hit eight 180s and posted a three-dart average of 104.64.

Earlier in the day another Norfolk player made a painful exit, with Bradwell's Mervyn King going down 4-3 to Michael Smith.

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Smith fought off the tenacious King in an epic seven leg contest, which saw the St Helens ace fire in 14 180s to reach the third round for the fourth consecutive year.

He missed five darts to take a more comfortable 4-1 victory before King hit back to force a deciding set tie-break, where Smith finally prevailed.

Bungay's Andrew Gilding followed Webster onto the stage last night and was beaten 4-0 by defending champion Gary Anderson.

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