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Dimitri Van Den Bergh and Peter Wright to meet in World Matchplay final

Dimitri Van Den Bergh and Peter Wright to meet in World Matchplay final
Belgium’s Van Den Bergh stayed on course to retain his title after beating Krzystof Ratajski.

Reigning champion Dimitri Van Den Bergh and Peter Wright will meet in Sunday’s World Matchplay final at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

Belgium’s Van Den Bergh stayed on course to retain his title after beating Krzystof Ratajski 17-9 in Saturday night’s first semi-final.

Wright, world champion in 2020 and tournament runner-up in 2017, kept his hopes of a first World Matchplay crown alive by defeating Michael Van Gerwen 17-10.

Van Den Bergh, 27, caused an upset last year when winning the tournament on his debut, but is back in the final on merit after another impressive display against Poland’s Ratajski.

The Belgian made a slow start, trailing 4-1 og 6-2, but then reeled off seven successive legs to move 9-6 ahead and turn the match on its head.

Van Den Burgh’s fightback included a 128-finish (triple 16, triple 16, dobbelt 16), while Ratajski missed 13 double attempts in a row.

The Pole won three successive legs to close the gap to 10-9, but Van Den Bergh stopped the rot with a 110-checkout and produced a 112-finish as he closed the match out.

Wright made a faultless start against former world number one Van Gerwen, averaging 113.52 to open up a 4-1 lead.

Van Gerwen closed the deficit to 5-4, but missed three attempts at double 16 in the 10th leg and Wright hit another purple patch, winning three legs in 32 dart, to go 10-4 opp.

Wright then missed five attempts at double 16 and Van Gerwen stole the 15th leg to make it 10-5 and then pulled it back to 11-9.

But just as the Dutchman looked to have seized the momentum, Wright slammed the door, firing in a 149-finish and then two more 121-finishes to open up a 14-10 lead on his way to an emphatic win.