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Michael Smith hits a stunning nine-dart finish against Michael van Gerwen in the biggest stage in history en route to winning the World Championship and a £500,000 prize

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Michael Smith hit a stunning nine-dart finish on his way to beating Michael van Gerwen to win the PDC World Championship for the first time.

Having lost twice in the final before, the 32-year-old Englishman finally tasted triumph – and delivered perfection along the way – to claim the Sid Waddell Trophy and a £500,000 prize.

AFP

Smith was as cool as a cucumber as he completed a nine-dart leg

Van Gerwen, the three-time champion and favorite, could hardly believe it

GETTY

Van Gerwen, the three-time champion and favorite, could hardly believe it

The Ally Pally crowd went wild

Sky Sports

The Ally Pally crowd went wild

It was a harbinger of things to come as he won his first ever world title

AFP

It was a harbinger of things to come as he won his first ever world title

Smith – who becomes world number one after the 7-4 win – provided one of the most memorable moments in darts history in one of the highest quality games the sport has ever seen.

He came in the third innings of the second set, as both Smith and Van Gerwen were on a nine-dart.

Dutchman Van Gerwen had hit eight perfect darts to give himself the chance to become the first player to achieve the feat in the tournament this year, but missed the double 12.

Smith, second pitcher, was right behind him and made no mistake as he followed seven successive triple 20s and a triple 19 with the double 12.

His perfect leg was only the second nine-dart seen in a PDC World Championship final and the first since Adrian Lewis hit one in 2011.

It sparked some incredible scenes at the London venue, as fans were thrilled to see history made.

Commentator Wayne Mardle could hardly believe what he was looking at as he declared: “This is the most amazing dart leg you will ever see in your life… I can’t speak, I can not talk !”

Smith’s heroics tied the match at 1-1 after Van Gerwen won the first set.

Van Gerwen – chasing his fourth world title – may have missed the nine-dart, but he fired a 10-dart leg in what could have been a deciding fifth set, which he took against the throw to lead 3-2.

But Smith rallied and immediately brought the fire level at 3-3, then produced a brilliant 130 to save the seventh set and go 4-3 in front.

It was a memorable night for Smith as he became world number one for the first time

AFP

It was a memorable night for Smith as he became world number one for the first time

He was in the zone and quickly took the next two in a four straight set streak to put the light of day between him and Van Gerwen for the first time.

Smith may have had flashbacks to last year’s final loss to Wright where he squandered a 5-4 lead after Van Gerwen stopped the rot to make it 6-4 and then led 2- 0 in the next set.

But with the help of a 106 crate, he regained control as he won the final three sets to clinch the title 7-4 amid emotional scenes.

As a result, Smith wins £500,000 in prize money and also becomes world number one for the first time in his career.

It will also be sweet revenge for his loss to Van Gerwen at the showpiece event in 2019.



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