From Sky Sports




Phil Taylor: Reeled off 13 straight legs in one-sided quarter-final

Phil Taylor powered into the semi-finals of the Grand Slam of Darts with a comprehensive 16-3 thrashing of Michael Smith in Wolverhampton.

Taylor was in clinical form as he won 13 straight legs and posted an impressive three-dart average of 107.28, although Smith was a shadow of the player that ousted the world No 2 from last year's World Championship.

The defending champion now faces a last-four clash with a resurgent Mervyn King, who hit nine 180s in a 16-9 victory over an erratic Stephen Bunting.

Smith got off to a confident start, hitting a maximum as he held throw in the opening leg, but Taylor responded with an 11-dart finish and took the next two legs before two missed darts at double 12 allowed Smith to stop the rot.

Taylor then missed three darts at a double in leg six as Smith levelled, but the five-time champion hit back with another 11-darter which marked the beginning of the end for his opponent.

Smith's all-round game deteriorated and Taylor showed no mercy, cruising 7-3 ahead before rubbing salt into Smith's wounds with his third 11-dart leg of the match.

Taylor's superior scoring consistently got him to a double first, and he took out finishes of 114 and 126, while Smith almost arrested the slide when he missed the bull for a 164 checkout in the 16th leg.

The 16-time world champion wrapped up a one-sided victory with his first attempt at double 16 to set up a last-four encounter with King, and he was delighted with his performance against Smith.

"I'm really happy because I'm in the semis and I'm playing well," said Taylor. "I wasn't going to let Michael off the hook, even when I got to 14 or 15 legs because he can fight back.

"I was surprised that Michael threw a few lazy darts but his mindset wasn't right tonight. He said to me that he kept snatching his darts and I think that's pure pressure, but he'll learn from it and he'll be a stronger player.

"It will be a different kettle of fish in the semis against Mervyn because he's on a high and he's doing brilliantly at present."

King missed five darts at a double in the second leg, but he recovered to break throw on double six and then took out 76 to move two legs clear before Bunting also nailed a 76 checkout in leg five.

A 122 checkout took King two clear, and the Norfolk veteran landed 122 again to go 8-5 up as the pair held throw for nine straight legs despite inconsistent finishing from both.

King punished Bunting for two missed darts at a double to open up a 10-6 lead, and he opened up the next with two 180s before settling for a 12-darter and a five-leg advantage.

The next three legs were traded in 14-darters before King capitalised on a missed dart at double 16, and he landed a seventh maximum and double eight to move two legs away from the last four.

Bunting was gifted the 23rd leg as King missed six darts at a double over three visits to the oche, but King took out 72 on double top before hitting his ninth 180 and completing a superb win with a stylish 13-dart leg.