Smith breezes past Clayton in brilliant display, set to face Suljovic in second round
Michael Smith is through to the second round at the World Matchplay after a crushing win over Jonny Clayton 10-3 in which doubles were a major factor.
Smith went 8-1 up and barring some late resistance from Clayton, he eased through with 64% on the doubles, a high checkout of 126 and four 180's.
While for his opponent, he was down at 3/15 in the end. Next up for the 2019 finalist is Mensur Suljovic who himself produced a brilliant win earlier tonight against Jamie Hughes.
Smith and Clayton exchanged breaks of throw to begin the tie with the latter weighing in with a 126 checkout on the bull. But from there, it was all 'Bully Boy'.
He went 2-1 up with a 103 checkout and with Clayton down at 1/10 on the doubles, Smith was allowed to forge a three-leg cushion at 4-1 up.
It began to look even more bleak for Clayton with Smith going on to break again and lead comfortably 6-1 with a 126 on the bull of his own as he surged towards the second round.
He went 8-1 up from there with no sign of resistance from 'The Ferret' as Smith made it 8/10 on the doubles and for Clayton, he was without a hold of throw and was heading out of proceedings fast.
He finally stopped the rot hitting double 12 after Smith missed double 20 for a 120 finish to go within one but at the interval, Smith was looking good at 8-2 up.
Clayton held from there though for the first time in the match to make it 8-3. Could he make a late surge?
A brilliant leg saw Smith hit a 10 darter to go one away from victory which he concluded next up to finish the second night at the World Matchplay .
Click here for more information about the World Matchplay, including the tournament bracket, TV coverage and prize money breakdown.
Schedule World Matchplay 2020
Sunday July 19
Mensur Suljovic (100.35) 12-10 (101.13) Jamie Hughes
Glen Durrant (107.29) 10-3 (96.71) Jeffrey de Zwaan
Rob Cross (94.4) 8-10 (89.38) Gabriel Clemens
Peter Wright (98.94) 10-8 (96.21) Jose de Sousa
Michael Smith (101.81) 10-3 (91.1) Jonny Clayton