Darius Labanauskas throws PDC world championship’s second nine-dart finish

Darius Labanauskas hit the second nine-dart finish in 24 hours at the PDC World Championship while three-times former champion Michael van Gerwen overcame a sluggish start to move into the third round.

After debutant William Borland dramatically won the deciding leg of his first-round match against Bradley Brooks in the quickest way possible, the Lithuanian matched the feat on Saturday.

In the fourth leg of the first set against Belgian Mike De Decker, Labanauskas followed up an opening visit of 174 with a maximum 180 before checking out with a treble 20, treble 17, double 18 combination to seal the set.

However, any joy for Labanauskas was short-lived as De Decker hit back to claim a 3-1 victory and book a second-round showdown against Dave Chisnall, a beaten semi-finalist last year.

Raymond Smith, Callan Rydz and Ian White were early winners on Saturday while Van Gerwen got his campaign under way with a 3-1 victory over Chas Barstow, with the Dutchman averaging 94.54.

Van Gerwen did not have things all his own way, dropping the first set before losing the opening leg of the second, but he hit his straps thereafter, winning six successive legs to establish a 2-1 lead. Van Gerwen then took out 99 in the final couple of legs to secure victory.

Earlier in the evening, England’s Adam Hunt and Austria’s Rowby-John Rodriguez recorded 3-0 victories over Croatia’s Boris Krcmar and Wales’s Nick Kenny respectively, while Jim Williams defeated Ted Evetts 3-1.