Gary Anderson landed an amazing 19 180s before edging out John Bowles in a tie-break as the second round of the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship began on Friday afternoon, with Andy Hamilton and Dave Chisnall also winning through at Alexandra Palace.
Scottish star Anderson, the 2011 finalist, recorded the most 180s in a game outside of the final in the World Championship - but was still pushed all the way in a seven-set thriller.
Widnes ace Bowles, who only turned professional in January, performed superbly as he came from 2-1 down in sets to lead 3-2 despite four ton-plus finishes from Anderson.
The number four seed took the sixth set 3-2 to force a decider, only for Bowles - who knocked out Jamie Caven in the frist round - to lead 2-0 in the final set.
However, he missed two match darts as Anderson hit back to level, before the Widnes ace missed a further dart to take victory as the pair reached four-all in the final set's tie-break, and it was the Scot who held his nerve to take victory 6-4.
"I've no idea how I won that," admitted Anderson. "I wasn't looking forward to this game because a lot of people don't know how good John is, and he's showed everyone just what a classy player he is.
"Hitting 19 180s was great but I wish my finishing had been as good! I was snatching a few doubles and it's disappointing that my finishing wasn't as good as in my first round game, but luckily John started to miss a few doubles himself at the end.
"If I'd hit my doubles earlier on it could have been a lot easier for me, and after the third set I thought I'd be staying at home after Christmas, but now I can look forward to coming back for the third round."
Bowles - a former rugby league player - hit six 180s and a 120 finish in reply before falling to defeat, but admitted: "I'm never beaten and I've got loads of fighting spirit, but I didn't take my chances at the end and Gary responded well to the pressure I put him under.
"I'm gutted but I enjoyed the game and it shows that I'm going along the right lines, so with a bit of luck I'll be back next year."
Earlier in the afternoon, last year's runner-up Andy Hamilton booked his place in the last 16 with a 4-1 win over Welshman Richie Burnett.
Burnett took out 121 as he won the game's opening set but missed the chance to double his lead as Hamilton levelled and then took the next two sets 3-2, before sealing victory by taking the fifth set without reply.
Hamilton hit ten 180s in his victory along with four ton-plus checkouts, and said: "My finishing was very good towards the end of the match and that was the key to my win.
"I reached the final last year and I would love to go one step further this time around. Not many people are talking about me and I'm regarded as the underdog, but I'm still there fighting and I'm going to be tough to beat."
The afternoon's other game was also a heavy-scoring affair as Northern Irish newcomer Daryl Gurney hit 11 180s only to suffer a 4-1 loss to Dave Chisnall, who landed ten maximums of his own.
Gurney, who knocked out Andy Smith in the first round, lost the first three sets 3-2 as Chisnall took command, and though the Irish Matchplay champion edged the fourth, it was the St Helens ace who prevailed.
"I'm very relieved to get through that match as Daryl played some great darts," said Chisnall, who will now face Simon Whitlock or Colin Osborne for a place in the quarter-finals.
"Daryl was scoring so well but he let me in a few times and I managed to take the chances that were on offer to me."
The flurry of 180s to start the second round's action was also a boost to the PDC's official charity, Haven House Children's Hospice, who will receive a donation of £10 per 180 from tournament sponsors Ladbrokes, who have also pledged to double the donation should last year's record of 588 be broken in this event.
The evening session will see former Alexandra Palace champions Phil Taylor and John Part in action as they take on Jerry Hendriks and Terry Jenkins respectively, while Robert Thornton meets Paul Nicholson.
Ladbrokes World Darts Championship
Afternoon Session Second Round:
Andy Hamilton 4-1 Richie Burnett
Dave Chisnall 4-1 Daryl Gurney
Gary Anderson 4-3 John Bowles