2024 Masters Darts: Dobey vs Van Gerwen, Bunting vs Humphries, Heta vs Cross and More on Saturday!

Published on 3 February 2024 at 12:00

After an exciting opening evening in Milton Keynes, can Chris Dobey perform another masterclass in the Masters as he looks to retain his title from last year. Standing in his way is Michael Van Gerwen, who he has enjoyed some recent classics with. Also on Saturday will be the reigning World Champion Luke Humphries taking on the ever-popular Stephen Bunting.


Defending champion Dobey survived a frustrating match against the UK Open Champion Andrew Gilding, come from 3-2 down to win 6-3 after some checkout trouble, particularly on the bullseye. Stephen Bunting himself fought from 5-2 down to stun Ross Smith in the night's main event, enduring some treble trouble before surging to the win and a place in the last 16. 


In Friday night's opener, Dirk Van Duijvenbode got his first televised win in four months as he won a last leg decider against Ryan Searle: he may have been behind on the averages, but the big Dutchman's prolific 180 hitting showed just how lethal he can be when not too heavily affected by his shoulder injury. Krzysztof Ratajski recorded only his second ever win at the Masters with a strong display against Jonny Clayton, avenging the defeat he was dealt by the Ferret back in December at the World Championships. 


The best performance of the night belonged to Dave Chisnall, who stormed to a 6-1 win over Martin Schindler: even with his German opponent averaging over 100, Chizzy's was simply too much to handle, and as always, left many wondering just how this man has yet to win a televised major in his PDC career. Damon Heta produced another firey performance against a German opponent, as the Australian No.1 dispatched Gabriel Clemens to set up a rematch from the Grand Slam against the in-form Rob Cross. 


And it was a mixed night for a pair of former Masters Champions, as the 2014 champion James Wade was made to pay for some terrible finishing on the doubles by Dimitri Van den Bergh, with the brilliant Belgian narrowly missing out on the whitewash, instead winning 6-1. In contrast, the 2022 champion Joe Cullen got his campaign off to a strong start by beating Josh Rock, moving on to face Daryl Gurney, the alternative for the absent Gerwyn Price. 


Saturday's afternoon and evening sessions will see the introduction of 7 of the top 8 seeds in the world. As previously mentioned, no.1 seed Luke Humphries will meet Stephen Bunting, MVG will take on defending champion Dobey. And Michael Smith, fresh off his Premier League triumph in Cardiff on Thursday night, will attempt to win the Masters for the first time in his storied career when he takes on Van den Bergh.



By Jaspar Shepherdson

(@jasparshepmedia on X/Twitter and Instagram)


Image Credit: Eckendeformator on Wikipedia


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