Grand Slam of Darts - First Day, evening, Report and Stastitics

PHIL TAYLOR began his defence of the SINGHA Beer Grand Slam of Darts title with a superb 5-0 whitewash of Richie George at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall on Saturday night, as Stephen Bunting, Gary Anderson, Michael Smith and James Wade turned on the style.

Taylor, a five-time Grand Slam of Darts winner, was in clinical mood as he swept aside former Lakeside Championship semi-finalist George.
Taylor averaged 100.20 in the win and hit five doubles from seven attempts, with George missing with three darts at double top in the game's third leg - after he had landed a 180 in being first to a finish - in his best chance to get off the mark. Taylor will now meet Holland's Christian Kist in Sunday's second Group E fixtures, after the 2012 Lakeside Champion was a 5-2 winner against Andy Hamilton in their first fixture.
"If you'd offered me a 5-0 win at the start of the night I'd have been a happy man and it's a good start for me," said Taylor. ""Richie's a better player than he showed tonight but you've got to take your chances. Christian's an ex World Champion and he's a good player so I know it won't be easy on Sunday, but I'll be ready for him."

Wolverhampton debutant Stephen Bunting enjoyed a memorable first appearance as he averaged almost 104 in a superb 5-1 Group H win over Wesley Harms, who was restricted to just two darts at a double in the contest.
"That's a really good win for me," said Bunting. "I was trying to prove a point and I'm happy to get the win because the first game is always the hardest. I was nervous so I'm glad to get it out of the way."

Gary Anderson set up a mouthwatering Group H clash with Bunting on Sunday night with an equally impressive 5-1 win over Dean Winstanley in their opening clash.

In-form James Wade - the 2010 Grand Slam of Darts runner-up - continued his strong recent form by hitting five doubles from six attempts in a superb 5-1 win over Jamie Caven. Wade will now meet Mervyn King on Sunday night in a repeat of their clash in last week's Masters final in Edinburgh, after the latter edged out Tony O'Shea 5-4 in a tight clash.

Former World Youth Champion Michael Smith kicked off Group F with an outstanding comeback as he hit back from 2-0 down to win 5-2 against Simon Whitlock, with the St Helens youngster reeling off four 180s and averaging almost 105.
"At 2-0 down I was always confident that I could get back into the game, and Simon didn't have an answer to what I threw at him," said a bullish Smith. "I've come here believing I'm going to win the Grand Slam and this is a great start."

Smith now plays Peter Wright in his second Group F gae on Sunday, with the PDC world number four having defeated Brendan Dolan 5-2 in their opener.

Ave180sDoublesPlayervPlayer Ave180sDoubles
95.6912/13Hamilton 2:5Kist95.5215/12
103.8415/8Bunting 5:1 Harms91.5411/2
80.3725/8King 5:4 O'Shea89.5444/16
91.9615/9Wright 5:2Dolan92.8212/5
96.3225/11Anderson 5:1 Winstanley78.4001/8
100.2005/7Taylor 5:0 George80.0910/3
92.8412/4Whitlock 2:5Smith104.9145/7
99.4815/6Wade 5:1Caven98.4311/3

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