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Poland Darts Masters draw and schedule: Boris Krcmar set for Michael van Gerwen showdown

Boris Krcmar delivered a superb display to dump out Nathan Aspinall and set up a showdown against reigning champion Michael van Gerwen at the Superbet Poland Darts Masters in Gliwice.

Croatian number one Krcmar defied five 180s from Aspinall to win through a high-quality encounter at the PreZero Arena, averaging 97.79 to set up a clash against world number two Van Gerwen in Saturday's final stages.

“I feel great,” admitted Krcmar, who landed a stunning 127 finish on the bull on his way to a landmark victory.

“Nathan is one of the best players in the world. I played well tonight; I was a little bit nervous but I managed to win, so I’m very happy.

“I hope I can keep this form going, and I will give it my best tomorrow.”

Friday’s first round saw eight PDC superstars take on their East Europe rivals, with Krcmar the solitary regional qualifier to progress to the quarter-finals.

Van Gerwen began his defence of the title with an emphatic 6-1 win over a below-par Karel Sedlacek, pinning six of his 12 attempts at double to sweep aside the Czech star.

“It was a steady performance, but the most important thing is to win,” insisted the Dutchman, who is chasing a second World Series title of 2024.

“I think Karel is a really good player, but I think he’s better on the floor than on the stage, and I took advantage of that.

“This is going to be a huge weekend for darts in Poland and Eastern Europe, and there’s still a lot more to come from me tomorrow.”

Top seed Luke Littler survived a late scare to see off Adam Gawlas on his Poland Darts Masters debut, after the Czech star produced three consecutive 13-darters from 5-1 down to threaten an unlikely fightback.

“I started off well, but I struggled with the pace of the game,” conceded Littler, who averaged 96.97 and crashed in four maximums.

“There was always going to be a little bit of rust after my week away, but it was good to be back on stage in front of a great audience. It was like a Premier League night!”

World Champion Luke Humphries began his bid for a maiden World Series crown with a routine 6-1 success against Hungarian debutant György Jehirszki, who won his solitary leg with an 11-darter.

“When György started coming back at me at the end, I got a bit more drive,” reflected the world number one.

“It wasn’t my best performance, but I know when I come back tomorrow I will be a stronger and better player.

“I would love to win a World Series title. It’s something that is not on my CV yet, but I’m sure it will happen one day!”

Stephen Bunting put in the performance of the day to end home hopes, averaging 99.62 in his 6-1 thumping of Poland’s number one Krzysztof Ratajski.

Ratajski kicked off the contest with seven perfect darts, but he never recovered from squandering ten darts at double across the opening two legs, and a clinical Bunting duly capitalised.

Bunting will now face Rob Cross, who continued his terrific form on the World Series stage with a 6-1 thrashing of promising young star Sebastian Bialecki, converting 100, 116 and 156 checkouts in the process.

Despite missing 28 darts at double, Michael Smith won through a gruelling affair against another Polish representative in Radek Szaganski, reeling off three straight legs from 4-3 adrift to triumph with a 95 average.

Elsewhere, Peter Wright returned to winning ways with a whitewash win over World Series debutant Jacek Krupka, producing a trio of 15-darters in the latter stages to seal his progress.

The quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will take place during a bumper session on Saturday evening, as the remaining eight players battle it out for glory in Gliwice.

Top seed Littler will kick off Finals Day against Wright, before World Cup partners Humphries and Smith lock horns for a place in the semi-finals.

Cross and Bunting will then renew their rivalry in the last eight, before Van Gerwen and Krcmar go head-to-head in front of a crowd of 10,000 fans.

The Superbet Poland Darts Masters will be broadcast on ITV4 in the UK, through the PDC's worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and Viaplay, and on PDCTV (excluding Germany, Austria & Switzerland based subscribers).

 

2024 Superbet Poland Darts Masters

Saturday June 15 - Quarter-Finals (1900 BST)
Luke Littler v Peter Wright
Luke Humphries v Michael Smith
Rob Cross v Stephen Bunting
Michael van Gerwen v Boris Krcmar
Best of 11 legs

Semi-Finals
Littler/Wright v Humphries/Smith
Cross/Bunting v Van Gerwen/Krcmar
Best of 13 legs

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