World number one survives major scare at World Darts Championship

World number one survives major scare at World Darts Championship
Michael van Gerwen during the walk on at Alexandra Palace. Photo: Steven Paston/PA

World number one Michael van Gerwen had to be at his best to see off a spirited Cristo Reyes in the last 16 of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.

After a three-day break for the festive period, the darts returned today, and the final match of the evening provided a thrilling climax as the 2014 champion saw off his Spanish opponent 4-2.

Reyes had a three-dart of average of 106.7 - the highest ever by a losing player - as he gave the Dutchman a real scare.

Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld both cruised through in their second round matches with straight sets victories.

The 16-time world champion Taylor began his clash against Kevin Painter with a magnificent 167 checkout and never looked back as he dropped just four legs in a routine 4-0 triumph.

Van Barneveld dropped only two legs against Alan Norris in his 4-0 success and the five-time world champion hit seven 180s and averaged over 103 in a classy, dominant display.

Mark Webster, Daryl Gurney and Dave Chisnall all progressed to the third round. Former BDO world champion Webster held off a fightback to win against number eight seed Mensur Suljovic. The Welshman led 3-1 but was forced all the way to a deciding set which he took 3-0.

Gurney will meet Webster on Thursday after overcoming Robert Thornton in another match that went to a deciding set. Gurney got off to a flying start, winning the first six legs without his opponent getting a dart at a double but Thornton hit back to lead 3-2 in sets.

However, Gurney refused to be denied his first ever appearance in the last 16 as he won six out of the last seven legs to progress.

Chisnall also won six out of the last seven legs against debutant Chris Dobey, checking out with 110 for the victory, and he will play either Jelle Klaasen or Brendan Dolan in the third round.

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