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King defeats Durrant at the Belgian Darts Championship as White and Cullen also crash out

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Belgian Darts Championship 2020 Day Three preview and order of play: Last 16 vie for glory in Hasselt

Jamie Shaw in European Tour 01 Mar 2020
Smith celebrates against Van Gerwen (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The first European Tour silverware of the season is up for grabs in Hasselt on Sunday as the 16 remaining hopefuls vie to be crowned Belgian Darts Champion.

Five seeded players departed the £140,000 tournament at the Second Round stage on Saturday, leaving a mixture of former champions and in-form challengers to battle it out for the title.

The afternoon session plays host to the Third Round ties, kicking off with a stand-out encounter between Premier League stars Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith.

A repeat of the 2019 world final sees Van Gerwen aiming to move a step closer to a first title of 2020 and a 33rd European Tour title in total by knocking out Thursday’s nine-dart hero.

Van Gerwen himself missed double 12 for a perfect leg against Mike De Decker in Round Two, while Smith averaged 103 in a 6-1 demolition of Ronny Huybrechts.

Van Gerwen has won seven of their last eight meetings and 30 of their 37 in total, including each of their last six European Tour encounter.

Reigning World Champion Peter Wright, the second most successful player in European Tour history, looks to raise his game from a sluggish Second Round showing when he takes on in-form Danny Noppert.

Wright averaged just 91 in a 6-2 win over Andy Hamilton, while Noppert produced the performance of the day to see off Jermaine Wattimena with a blistering 109 average.

Two of last season’s European Tour event winners collide as world number three Gerwyn Price faces a tough test against Czech Open champion Jamie Hughes.

Mervyn King, whose maiden Euro Tour title came back in 2014, looks to pick up from where he left off on Saturday when he faces impressive debutant Martijn Kleermaker.

King averaged 106 in defeating Glen Durrant 6-4 and now aims to avoid becoming the third consecutive scalp of PDC newcomer Kleermaker – who has already sent home top 16 stars Stephen Bunting and Joe Cullen.

Two of last season’s most prolific winners lock horns as World Matchplay and European Champion Rob Cross faces Gibraltar Trophy winner Krzysztof Ratajski.

Cross has made a below-par start to the season by his standards but began this campaign with a 6-1 rout of Damon Heta, while recent Players Championship event winner Ratajski averaged 98 in a 6-2 defeat of Gabriel Clemens.

Cross comfortably came out on top in their televised meetings at the 2018 UK Open and 2019 World Matchplay, while Ratajski has beaten ‘Voltage’ three times in floor competition.

World number eight plays world number nine as current UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall takes on former UK Open champion James Wade.

Aspinall has seemingly picked up from where he left off in a landmark 2019 and is now pushing for a first European Tour triumph, while Wade will be hoping to ignite an otherwise slow start to the season by dispatching the Premier League star.

An all-Dutch affair sees former World Matchplay semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan take on a resurgent Dirk van Duijvenbode.

De Zwaan defeated home favourite Kim Huybrechts in Round Two, while Van Duijvenbode averaged 101.5 in seeing off Luke Woodhouse in Round One before dumping out second seed Ian White to reach the final day of a Euro Tour event for the first time.

World number 12 Mensur Suljovic looks to continue his title challenge under the radar by overcoming power-scoring Steve West, whose match averages so far have varied by 22 points, with a 100.6 taking care of Jonny Clayton in Round Two.

The action gets underway from midday GMT, with Last 16 and Quarter-Final matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs, Semi-Finals best of 13 and the final best of 15.


Belgian Darts Championship 2020 Schedule

All times GMT (local time one hour ahead)

Sunday March 1

Third Round

Afternoon Session (12pm-4pm)
Michael van Gerwen v Michel Smith
Mervyn King v Martijn Kleermaker
Peter Wright v Danny Noppert
Krzysztof Ratajski v Rob Cross
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Jeffrey de Zwaan
James Wade v Nathan Aspinall
Gerwyn Price v Jamie Hughes
Mensur Suljovic v Steve West

Evening Session (6pm-10pm)

Van Gerwen/Smith v King/Kleermaker
Wright/Noppert v Ratajski/Cross
Van Duijvenbode/De Zwaan v Wade/Aspinall
Price/Hughes v Suljovic/West