Michael van Gerwen sets record televised average in Premier League

By Gary SmeeBBC Sport
Michael van Gerwen
Michael van Gerwen won the Premier League in 2013

Michael van Gerwen set a world-record televised average of 123.40 on a remarkable evening of Premier League darts in Aberdeen.

The world number one needed just 66 darts to race into a 6-0 lead against Michael Smith and missed double 18 to win with an average of more than 133.

The 26-year-old Dutchman eventually hit double 16 to seal a 7-1 victory.

Phil Taylor held the previous record of 118.66, which was set against Kevin Painter in the 2010 UK Open.

Van Gerwen rattled in finishes of 11, 12, 11, 12, 10 and 10 darts in the first six legs as he wrapped up victory in just over 10 minutes.

"I felt confident straight away and I played well from the start, so I'm happy with my performance and it was an amazing game," Van Gerwen said.

"When I was 6-0 up I realised I could make some records and I missed a couple of doubles. I hope I can do this many more times in the future."

Meanwhile world champion Gary Anderson beat Raymond van Barneveld 7-3 in front of his home fans, while fellow Scots Peter Wright and Robert Thornton drew 6-6 as Wright remained top of the table.

Peter Wright
Peter Wright has won three and drawn one of his four matches so far

Taylor's not far behind...

With the sell-out 4,000 crowd barely having time to catch their breath after Van Gerwen's heroics, Taylor treated them to another masterclass in the next match against Dave Chisnall.

The 16-time world champion, who held nine of the 10 highest televised averages of all time in singles competition before the evening started, averaged 115.25 as he beat St Helens thrower Chisnall 7-5.

On an evening when the only thing missing was a nine-darter, 55-year-old Taylor landed six perfect darts in legs five and 12 before missing the seventh treble 20 in both.

World number 10 Chisnall averaged 109.63 himself, but that perfectly acceptable scoring was not good enough on a night of exceptional quality.

Highest televised averages (singles competition)
123.40 - Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith - 2016 Premier League
118.66 - Phil Taylor v Kevin Painter - 2010 UK Open
117.35 - Phil Taylor v Simon Whitlock - 2012 Premier League
116.90 - Michael van Gerwen v James Wade - 2015 Premier League
116.10 - Phil Taylor v James Wade - 2012 Premier League


BBC Sport's darts reporter Phil Cartwright:

"Just when you think the pinnacle has been reached and the boundaries can't be pushed any further, Michael van Gerwen proves otherwise.

"As if his final 123.40 average wasn't incredible enough, he was one successful double away from posting a mark above 133 - one that would surely never have been surpassed.

"Throw in a classic contest between Phil Taylor and Dave Chisnall and a spine-tingling reception from the home crowd for Scotland's double world champion Gary Anderson and you have to ask: was this the greatest night of darts in history? You would certainly be hard pushed to find a better one."

Michael van Gerwen tweet
Just how high could Michael van Gerwen go with his averages?

Premier League results - round four

Adrian Lewis 7-5 James Wade

Gary Anderson 7-3 Raymond van Barneveld

Michael van Gerwen 7-1 Michael Smith

Phil Taylor 7-5 Dave Chisnall

Peter Wright 6-6 Robert Thornton

The BBC is broadcasting the first Champions League of Darts on 24-25 September. The eight-player tournament in Cardiff will be screened live across the BBC over the weekend.