Gary Anderson and Michael Smith advanced to the semi-finals of the Betfred World Matchplay with victories on Thursday night.

Anderson, the 2018 champion, fought off Simon Whitlock to win their quarter-final match 16-12, throwing a 98.5 average.

Anderson pulled out to an early three-leg lead and though Whitlock battled to stay alive, at one point getting the contest to 10-9 and then levelling it at 12-12, he could never get in front of the Flying Scotsman.

Anderson will now face Michael Smith, who beat Krzysztof Ratajski 16-13 to win the night's other last-eight match.

Smith averaged 98.32 and hit 13 180s in the win. 

"I've made hard work of that tonight but that's what Simon can do to you. He battles and makes you work for it so it was a slog to get it done," said Anderson after the win.

"Hopefully I'm sat here on Sunday with a trophy but I'm taking it one game at a time and it's going to be another tough fight against Michael Smith on Saturday.

"He's got a good record against me recently and is playing some brilliant darts, I've been saying how good he is for years and although it's a bit late he's finally starting to come through to the top," concluded the Scot about his last-four opponent.