The second day of action in the Cazoo World Cup of Darts certainly didn’t fail for entertainment factors, including a missed dart from Simon Whitlock and Australia at double eighteen for the first nine-darter hit by a pairs team in the competition’s history.
Team USA and Danny Baggish missed a dart at tops for a 160 checkout, before being dumped out on the same target in the next visit hit by Krzysztof Ratajski for Poland.
Australia were one of the big favourites coming into the tournament with the experience of The Wizard who is now taking part in his twelfth World Cup, along with partner Heta who is really starting to make a name for himself in the PDC. The Heat finished the third leg of with a 10-darter after Whitlock’s miss for the perfect nine, hitting the same double for a 2-1 lead against Lithuania.
The Winmau man did show his moments on the outer ring, closing out his country’s remaining three legs, including an 80 and a 117 checkout after hitting tops with his last dart in hand on both occasions.
The men from down under closed out a 5-2 victory as the former World finalist hit double seven with his second dart, going through face Sweden in the next round after Daniel Larsson and Johan Engstrom cruised to a 5-2 victory against Devon Peterson and South Africa.
Reigning champions Scotland beat Hong Kong 5-1 in the penultimate match of the night, in a very professional display from World Champion Peter Wright and John Henderson. It was The Highlander who closed out victory in the sixth leg, hitting tops with his first dart to send the tournament eighth seeds into the Second Round in Frankfurt.
The pair missed just six darts at double between them in the game and included one of the two maximums hit in the match with an average of 88.38. Jose de Sousa and Portugal provide a difficult test for the Scots team next after his country hit four maximums in a 5-3 win over Italy.
Team England recorded the highest average on Friday after beating Czech Republic 5-1 in the Eissporthalle, with Michael Smith and James Wade looking for a first World Cup since 2016 for their country. The Machine settled any nerves the pair may have had going into the game checking out 86 on the bull for an early break and a 1-0 lead.
Karol Sedlacek missed a dart at double five for a 130 checkout for his country in the opening leg and continued to struggle in the game with the scoring power of the number one seeds. Bully Boy broke throw in the fifth leg after hitting double five with his last dart, before a 52 checkout on tops sealed the win to go through and face Latvia in the Second Round.
Elsewhere, Belgium won the last game of the First Round to ensure all eight seeded teams advanced into the second round. Dimitri van den Bergh and Kim Huybrechts playing in their fifth consecutive tournament averaged 91.71 with two maximums to beat Japan 5-2. They will go through to face Poland in the Second Round after they went all the way with USA winning 5-4.
The action continues today on Sky Sports with Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan in action first as they face New Zealand in the first Second Round match of the competition in Frankfurt.
World Cup of Darts 2022: First Round Results
Latvia 5-1 Hungary
Poland 5-4 USA
Sweden 5-2 South Africa
Portugal 5-3 Italy
Australia (5) 5-2 Lithuania
England (1) 5-1 Czech Republic
Scotland (8) 5-1 Hong Kong
Belgium (4) 5-2 Japan
Saturday Order of Play:
Northern Ireland (6) v New Zealand
Netherlands (3) v Ireland
Wales (2) v Austria
Germany (7) v Denmark
Australia (5) v Sweden
Belgium (4) v Poland
England (1) v Latvia
Scotland (8) v Portugal
Words: Harry Masterson
Images: Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe
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