Van Gerwen was so rattled by Michael Smith he tried leaving stage before a break

Michael van Gerwen was so bewildered by Michael Smith’s barrage during in the World Darts Championship final that he accidentally tried to leave the stage mid-set at one point.

Bully Boy was in the midst of his staggering run of four sets in a row when, at 3-3, he took out 130 to make it 2-2 in the seventh set. That left Van Gerwen, who missed darts to win the set 3-0, looking completely flustered, to such an extent the Dutchman tried to leave the stage as he thought Smith had won the set.

Van Gerwen had to be called back and told by referee Kirk Bevins to stay put for the fifth leg of the set, which Smith went on to win to go 4-3 up. It was an embarrassing moment for the Dutchman, who had looked so dominant, almost super-human at times during his run to the final.

READ MORE: Nine-dart hero Michael Smith destroys Van Gerwen to win World Darts Championship

On commentary, Wayne Mardle was left baffled too, saying: “He goes to his table, he thought Michael Smith had won the set.

“He thought the set was over and they were going off for a break. His mind is gone, his head is in a shed.

“He’s got to compose himself here because, if this sets gets away from him, which it’s likely to do… He had a dart at double 18 and a dart at double nine to win this set 3-0.”

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Van Gerwen couldn’t stem the Smith tide and went on to lose 7-4 in arguably the greatest World Championship final of all time. After the match, he admitted that seventh set was crucial to the outcome of the final.

But he was magnanimous in defeat, tweeting: "Would be lying if I said it didn’t hurt, I had my chances and did not take them. But tonight is not about that, tonight it is about congratulating @Michael180Smith well done mate enjoy the moment. Thank you for all the support and I will be back in 2023.”

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