BDO world champion Glen Durrant produced a stunning display to defeat second seed Peter Wright 5-2 in a thrilling tussle on the opening afternoon of the Grand Slam of Darts.
‘Duzza’ averaged 106, landed three maximums and converted 45 per cent of his attempts at double to cap off the complete performance, despite Snakebite averaging 103 himself.
Wright kicked off proceedings with an exhibition 80 finish thanks to a pair of double tops, but Durrant responded with clinical 127 and 76 finishes, before following up his second maximum with a 14-darter for his third straight leg.
Wright found double two to reduce the arrears to 3-2, but the Teesside star piled in a brilliant 12-darter to move to the cusp of victory, which he duly sealed on double four after overcoming some late finishing-line nerves.
In the other Group E game, Alan Norris fended off a valiant fightback from Corey Cadby to make a winning start to his campaign, meaning Chuck will face Durrant on Sunday afternoon and Cadby will meet Wright.
Norris spurned a dart to triumph 5-1, but he had to survive a match dart of his own to close out a dramatic 5-4 win over the reigning World-Youth champion.
Cadby kicked off proceedings with a fine 126 on the bull, before Norris landed 105 and 110 finishes to establish a 4-1 lead. The Australian reeled off three straight legs to level, but Norris produced a fine 13-darter in the decider to secure a precious two points.
Saturday Afternoon Results Group E Alan Norris 5-4 Corey Cadby Peter Wright 2-5 Glen Durrant Group F Stephen Bunting 5-4 Jeffrey de Zwaan Dave Chisnall 5-2 Scott Mitchell Group G Michael Smith 5-3 James Wilson Mensur Suljovic 5-2 Mark McGeeney Group H Simon Whitlock 4-5 Berry van Peer Gary Anderson 5-3 Cameron Menzies Live Grand Slam of Darts
November 12, 2017, 1:00pm
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Gary Anderson made a winning start to his Grand Slam campaign, defeating debutant Cameron Menzies 5-3 in a quick-fire battle of the Scots that lasted just 11 minutes.
Menzies drew first blood on tops, but Anderson reeled off three legs on the spin to establish a 3-1 cushion. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ piled in a majestic 148 finish to move to the brink of victory, but the BDO man preserved his hopes with a wonderful 134 checkout.
Durrant's 127 check-out was the highlight of a high-quality contest
However, Anderson held his nerve and found double eight to triumph with a 96 average, in a breathless contest.
Elsewhere in Group H, Berry van Peer overcame his obvious struggles with dartitis to record a remarkable 5-4 victory over World Grand Prix finalist Simon Whitlock.
Cameron Menzies found a pair of double-tops to keep his tie with Gary Anderson alive
The Dutchman was struggling to release his first dart throughout the match, but showed incredible courage to close out a hard-fought win, surviving six match darts in the final two legs as Whitlock crumbled.
In Group G Mensur Suljovic overcame a couple of unfortunate bounce-outs that prompted a change of board to beat the BDO number one Mark McGeeney.
Wayne Mardle reflects on a memorable victory for Berry van Peer who battled dartitis before eventually beating Simon Whitlock
After a battling start where both men struggled to find their range and Suljovic saw two treble 20s drop out of the board, referee George Noble had the board changed and Suljovic went to on to claim the victory.
The Champions League winner wrapped up the match with a brilliant 161 finish to join Michael Smith on two points after their first game.
Mensur Suljovic overcame some unfortunate bounce-outs and a change of boards to triumph
World number 10 Smith opened up the tournament with a 5-3 victory over James Wilson that got the party started in Wolverhampton.
Bully Boy flew out of the traps racing into a 3-0 lead punishing some wayward finishing from Wilson but the Jammie Dodger stacked up the 180s to keep himself in contention and battle back to level the contest.
Smith pinched the seventh leg before Wilson made a complete mess when in control of the eighth, taking at the wrong double and ultimately getting punished by Smith who sealed the contest.
In Group F, Dave Chisnall and Stephen Bunting chalked up victories in very different fashion.
The Austrian also produced the highest check-out of the afternoon
Chizzy was in brilliant form to dispatch Scott Mitchell who did very little wrong in a 5-2 defeat, but big scoring and brilliant finishing from Chisnall was too much for the 2015 BDO world champion.
Earlier in the afternoon, Bunting withstood a barrage from 21-year-old Jeffrey de Zwaan to eventually edge home in a final leg decider.
Bunting’s powered his way to a 4-1 lead against a clearly overawed de Zwaan, but after the Bullet missed a dart a bull for the match the young Dutchman who is mentored by Raymond van Barneveld rallied.
Finding the treble 20 with greater regularity he took his chances to reel off three successive legs and force a decider, which Bunting pinched after De Zwaan had missed three darts for the match.
The Grand Slam of Darts continues on Sky Sports throughout the week with another double session on Sunday as the best of the PDC compete against the best of the BDO.
Live Grand Slam of Darts
November 12, 2017, 7:00pm
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