Take a look at what happened on day one of the World Cup of Darts in Frankfurt
Top seeds Scotland lived up to their billing, leading the established nations in chalking up opening-night victories at the World Cup of Darts.
Scotland, Wales and Australia dropped just five legs between them in seeing off Thailand, Hong Kong and USA with only Wales given a real scare before they sealed their meeting with Switzerland, who had ended the dream of China’s Momo Zhou.
But the real drama was saved for the final match of the evening as the unseeded Japanese pair of Seigo Asada and Haruki Muramatsu won a final leg shoot-out with Mensur Suljovic’s Austria, who were eighth seeds.
Asada produced a host of maximums to keep Japan in front throughout and while Suljovic led the resistance, his partner Zoran Lerchbacher missed a whole host of darts at a double and the seeded nation were to be punished.
2018 World Cup of Darts – Day One Results Italy 1-5 Canada Russia 4-5 Spain Switzerland 5-2 China Denmark 1-5 Brazil Wales (5) 5-3 Thailand Australia (4) 5-1 Hong Kong Scotland (1) 5-1 USA Austria (8) 4-5 Japan
Top seeds Scotland have only once reached the final but Gary Anderson and Peter Wright have vowed to put their disappointing form as a team in the event behind them.
They lived up to that promise with the highest average of the night and a 5-1 win over an experienced USA that on paper looked a tricky first-round encounter
Wright opened Scotland’s account on double 10 before Anderson missed a dart at double 12 for a 12-darter in the next leg. Snakebite returned to pin double six to cement their advantage.
Larry Butler got the Americans on the board by pinching the fourth leg but the Scots moved serenely on, winning the next two legs with ease to put the memory of last year’s shock first-round defeat to Singapore behind them.
Next up for the duo is Brazil after Diogo Portela and Bruno Rangel teamed up to give the Samba stars of the oche a second-round spot for the second successive year,
Having reached the last 16 on debut in 2017, the pair eased to their showdown with the Scots thanks to a comprehensive 5-1 victory over Denmark.
Last year’s runners-up and fifth seeds Wales eventually saw off Thailand, as captain Gerwyn Price led them to a 5-3 win.
The pairing of Price and Jonny Clayton moved into a 3-1 lead before the Thais punished missed darts at double in the fifth and sixth legs from The Iceman to level the match
Price's 108 checkout was part of an impressive display from The Iceman
With Clayton struggling, Price led the charge to the finish line, showing great character to take out 108 to move within a leg of the match before pinning double four after Clayton’s missed match darts went unpunished by Thanawat.
They will face Switzerland after a far from convincing 5-2 win over China – a result that ended the participation of only the second woman to play in the event – Zhou following Anastasia Dobromyslova, who represented Russia in 2010.
It was a tale of missed opportunities for Zhou and her partner Xiaochen Zong, who missed 20 darts at a double between them during the match.
Having seen Andreas Bless give Switzerland the lead in a nervy opening leg, China missed a host of opportunities to trail 3-0 before their mini fightback.
Dong finally pinned double five to get them on the board before Zhou delighted the crowd by taking out double 10 with the minimum of fuss to close within one but that was as good as it got as Alexander Fehlmann found a rare moment of quality to get the Swiss over the line.
Momo Zhou became only the second ever woman to feature at the World Cup of Darts when she represented China against Switzerland, here is a look at her best bits
Australia produced a fine display, Simon Whitlock and Kyle Anderson dovetailing well to averaging almost 94 and reeling off five successive legs and a 5-1 win over Hong Kong.
The fourth seeds feel behind after a tidy 16-dart leg from their opponents, but with Whitlock scoring brilliantly and both men hitting their doubles it was not long before they were off the stage and set for a Saturday date against the Spanish pair of Cristo Reyes and Toni Alicinas.
A classy final leg was enough for Spain to beat Russia 5-4 in a thriller, Alcinas taking out a brilliant 136 check-out to give Spain the victory and the lead for the only time in the contest.
Spain won a thrilling final leg shoot-out
Aleksandr Oreshkin and Boris Koltsov had given Russia 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 leads but Reyes found a couple of maximums down the stretch to set Spain on their way and Alcinas sealed their place with his second 100+ of the match.
John Part led 2016 quarter-finalists Canada to an easy 5-1 first-round victory over Italy in the opening match of this year’s event – they will face Japan who stunned Austria in the final match of the evening.
The three-time world champion has represented Canada at all seven previous World Cups and partnered by debutant Dawson Murschell, he found the double in each of the opening four legs to set Canada on their way.
Italy missed eight darts at a double through the match before Alessio Medaina stopped the rot to get Italy on the board before Murschell found a winning double eight.
Live World Cup of Darts
June 1, 2018, 6:00pm
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Our live action from Frankfurt continues on Friday with the remaining eight first-round matches, including England and the Netherlands entry to the tournament – coverage is underway from 6pm on Sky Sports Action
2018 World Cup of Darts – Day Two New Zealand v Singapore Greece v Finland Northern Ireland v Poland Hungary v South Africa Belgium v Republic of Ireland England v Czech Republic Sweden v Germany Netherlands v Gibraltar
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