Worlds Darts Championship: Lithuanian Darius Labanauskas stuns Raymond Van Barneveld

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Worlds Darts Championship: Lithuanian Darius Labanauskas stuns Raymond Van Barneveld

Ben Francis

Five-time world champion Raymond Van Barneveld has been eliminated from the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) world championship, after losing to Lithuanian ace Darius Labanauskas on Tuesday (NZ time).

Labanauskas won the second-round match 3-2 in arguably the biggest upset in the championship to date, and will face either Ted Evetts or two-time champion Adrian Lewis in the next round.

The 42-year-old, who is the first Lithuanian to star at the world championship, won the opening set 3-1, while averaging 102.05 to silence the Alexandra Palace crowd in London.

Van Barneveld, who will retire after the 2020 world championship, responded by winning the second set 3-2.

The Dutchman then had a chance to win the third set, but missed four darts in the fifth leg and Labanauskas made him pay by hitting double-six to lead 2-1.

The fourth set also went to a fifth-leg decider, which van Barneveld won to send the match into a deciding set.

The first leg of the set was tense, as both players missed darts to gain the upper hand, and after 11 darts, Labanauskas landed double-one following van Barneveld’s four misses.

Labanauskas won the second leg and then hit double-four to claim the biggest win of his career.

Van Barneveld averaged 89.57, compared to Labanauskas’ 86.81, but the Dutchman was 23 percent on the doubles – missing 29 in total – while the Lithuanian was 30 percent.

Earlier, England’s Ryan Joyce claimed a 3-0 win over three-time ladies world champion Anastasia Drobromyslova in their first round tie.

Russian Drobromyslova, who previously competed at the 2009 world championship, was aiming to become the first woman to win a game at the PDC event, but her dreams were crushed in a straight-sets defeat.

Drobromyslova won the opening leg of the first set, but that was as good as it got for the 34-year-old, as she lost the set 3-1 and then the next 3-0.

She put up a brave fight in the third, but Joyce showed his class to win 3-2 and earn a match against Australian Simon Whitlock in the second round.

South Africa’s Devon Petersen won a dramatic last-leg decider against Wayne Jones to scrape through to the second round with a scrappy 3-2 win.

‘The African Warrior’ seemed poised to sweep his opponent when he won the opening two sets, but Jones responded by finishing 102 to spark a whitewash in the third – and then edged the fourth set in a deciding leg to level up the match.

Both throwers went blow-for-blow in the final set to force a decider, which saw both players miss opportunities to progress.

Jones missed six darts for the match, before Petersen finally hit the winning double on his eighth attempt, when he landed double-two.

Petersen will face England’s Ian White in the second round.

Meanwhile, Dutchman Vincent van der Voort scraped past Philippine qualifier Lourence Illagan 3-1 in their first-round match.

With the scores locked at 1-1, Illagan missed a dart to win the third set and was punished by van der Voort, who landed 64 to take a 2-1 lead.

Illagan then missed four darts to win the fourth set and his opponent made him pay to come out on top.

After the mathc, Van der Voort admitted he was lucky to win and that Illagan was the “better player” on the stage.

The 42-year-old will face England’s Darren Webster in the next round.

Day Six action will see world number five Darryl Gurney of Northern Ireland and two-time world youth champion Dimitri van den Bergh of Belgium in action.

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