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Michael van Gerwen set up a mouthwatering second round clash against world number one Phil Taylor at the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts after defeating Ted Hankey on Tuesday.

‘Mighty Mike’, who won the World Grand Prix last month, swept to a 5-0 victory over his out of sorts opponent, completing a hat-trick of round robin victories in Wolverhampton.

The Dutch ace, who has been in brilliant form in 2012, topped Group B ahead of Robert Thornton, who also qualified for the last 16 following a 5-4 triumph over Steve Beaton.

“It’s great to win my three group games and top the table,” said van Gerwen.

“It’s an achievement I’m very proud off. I’m really looking forward to playing Phil Taylor on Thursday and I think it will be a cracking game for the crowd to watch. I’m having a wonderful year and I want to do more damage.”

Thornton said: “It’s great to be through to the next round and I enjoy the longer format as it allows you to relax into the game a bit more.”

Arron Monk also won through to the knockout stage after defeating Jan Dekker 5-1.

He said: “I’m delighted to be through to the second round. Playing in this tournament before has given me good experience which has been really helpful to me.”

Wednesday night sees the completion of the round robin stage for Groups E to H, with Paul Nicholson in need of a win against Andy Hamilton to progress.

Raymond van Barneveld will face Wayne Jones as he bids for a place in the last 16.

By Chris Murphy

Robert Thornton 5-4 Steve Beaton (Click for full match report)

Michael van Gerwen 5-0 Ted Hankey

Images courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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