- World Darts Championship
Huybrechts crashes out as Van Gerwen cruises
Scott Rand produced a thrilling comeback to book his place in the second round of the World Darts Championship with an entertaining 3-2 victory over Kim Huybrechts.
Huybrechts, who lost his father less than a fortnight ago, produced the fourth highest average of the tournament so far, but could not stave off an inspired Rand, who averaged over 106 in the final two sets.
The Belgian romped to an early lead, clinching the set on the bullseye, but he was pegged back by Rand, who replied with an equally confident set.
With an average of 98.79, Huybrechts looked comfortable as he moved ahead once more, but was left to rue a missed opportunity at the end of the third set as Rand forced a decider.
As the errors began to creep into Huybrechts' game, Rand was evidently relishing the chance to play in front of a big crowd, and showed nerves of steel to clinch the victory and set up a clash with No. 6 seed Wes Newton.
"I've timed this performance very well as I don't think I've played anywhere near that level this year," Rand said. "I enjoyed the experience here last year, and I feel that helped me. I love playing on the big stages and I feel that's where I produce my best game."
Michael van Gerwen completed the second-round line-up as he cruised into the last 32 with a resounding 3-0 win over veteran Paul Lim.
Van Gerwen, who is in red-hot form after a stellar 2012, oozed confidence as he made an average of 89.01 against the man who hit the first World Championship nine-darter back in 1990.
His fellow Dutchman Vincent van der Voort had too much experience for debutant Stuart Kellett as he secured a 3-0 victory to set up a second round clash with Dean Winstanley.
Earlier in the evening Mark Walsh booked his place in the second round with a 3-1 win over former quarter-finalist Darren Webster. Walsh won six of the seven opening seven legs to take control of the match, and although Webster avoided the whitewash, despite hitting his fifth maximum of the match he was unable to stave off defeat.