GRITTY ANDERSON STUNS KLAASEN WITH COMEBACK WIN AT WILLIAM HILL WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIP
GARY ANDERSON came from 3-1 down to defeat Jelle Klaasen 4-3 in a classic second round tie at the William Hill World Darts Championship in the match of the tournament so far, while Benito van de Pas caused an upset and defending champion Michael van Gerwen progressed on Saturday night.
Number four seed Anderson and Dutchman Klaasen played out a match packed with quality which saw both players average over 100 and combine for a brilliant 20 180s - with 14 coming from the Scot as he averaged 103 and checked out 126 in a superb comeback win.
The 2011 finalist was staring down the barrel of defeat at 3-1 down in sets and 2-1 behind in the fifth set until he hit the bull for an 84 finish with Klaasen sat on 89 for the match.
Anderson then claimed that set and then went on to win a high-quality sixth set 3-1, with a barrage of 180s and three 80-plus finishes forcing a deciding set.
Although Klaasen finished a 13-darter to level in the final set, it was Anderson who had the final say as he 126 checkout for a 12-darter to move to the brink of victory before landing two 180s in a remarkable 11-darter to win the game in style.
Having lost to van Gerwen from 3-1 up in last year's tournament, Anderson turned history on its head with the triumph as he moves through to a third round tie against Cristo Reyes or Kevin Painter.
"I'm not sure where that comeback came from," admitted the Scot. "At 3-1 down I was just focusing on winning a set, I thought winning two is better than just one in the match. I managed to somehow pinch that fifth set and then from there I started to really enjoy it, and the darts started to flow a bit better. I was hitting big scores and finishing big as well "Jelle was banging in the big scores early on and taking out his doubles so there wasn't really too much I could do about it really, I just had to hang on in there and wait for a chance. The practicse seems to be paying off, the 180s haven't been there all year really but if they're going to come back and I can continue to do well on the doubles then I'm in business."
Reigning champion van Gerwen overcame a fast start and some stubborn resistance from German qualifier Sascha Stein to win his second round match 4-1.
The Dutch star lost the first set of his match with Stein, who matched him stride-for-stride in the early stages, before the world number one he pulled away for victory.
Van Gerwen finished with eight 180s and an average of just under 100 as he set up a third round encounter with an in-form Terry Jenkins.
"He played well to be fair," said van Gerwen after the match. "For a qualifier he did very well in this tournament and put me under pressure. He did very well against me, even in the second set when I was well ahead he put me under pressure. I knew I was going to win in the end but all credit to Sascha Stein. There's a lot more pressure on me in these games when everyone expects me to win, so I'm happy to get through them and into the next round. My game is in good shape, it's all there i just need to go away and prepare for the next one."
Another Dutchman, Alexandra Palace debutant Benito van de Pas, produced another shock result as he dumped out number eight seed Dave Chisnall with a 4-2 win in their second round clash.
The 21-year-old knocked out Paul Nicholson in the first round, but produced an even bigger upset as he twice came from behind to send Chisnall packing.
Van de Pas finished behind Chisnall in almost all of the post-match statistics, but when it mattered he produced the goods to move into the last 16.
A 91.44 average for van de Pas was below Chisnall's 93.08, and with four 180s he was also one worse off than his opponent, but finishes such as his best of 127 helped him book a third round clash with Robert Thornton on Monday.
"That's the best win of my life," said a delighted van de Pas. "To win a game like that on the big stage at the World Championship is where you make your name in darts, it's a dream for me. I've learned a lot playing in the floor tournaments this year, I've lost some close games and learned now how to fight hard and I was able to use that and bring my 'A' game to the big stage this time. This has been my dream to be here winning games and the dream now continues. It'll be tough to play against Robert, but I'll give it my best and we'll see what happens."