In the third leg of the second set, it was Van Gerwen who had the first chance at perfection as he hit eight brilliant set-up darts, but was millimetres out with his attempt at double 12.
Smith, throwing second, was right behind him, though, and made no mistake, following eight successive treble 20s with the prized double 12 to send the Alexandra Palace wild.
His perfect leg was the just the second nine-darter in the World Chamapionship final and the first since Adrian Lewis hit one in 2011.
THE BEST LEG OF ALL TIME! 🤯🔥
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN MISSES D12 FOR A NINE-DARTER, AND THEN SMITH PINS A PERFECT LEG HIMSELF!
ONE OF THE GREATEST THINGS YOU'LL EVER SEE IN SPORT. pic.twitter.com/WyKWFcxq5V
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) January 3, 2023
It levelled the match up at 1-1 with Van Gerwen as the pair threatened to produce one of the highest quality matches in the 30 years of the PDC World Championship.