Paul Lim achieved a surprising victory in his 25th appearance in the world championship, battling 2-0 against to beat Luke Humphries 3-2.
The 66-year-old, who has played professional darts since 1973, has barely played competitively this year with the PDC Asian Tour on hold amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lim couldn’t keep up with his opponent’s big score early in the match and Humphries looked poised for a routine win when he pulled out 103 to take a two-set lead.
The ‘Singapore Slinger’ hit back with a shot break to start the third set, winning 3-1 to get back into the game. In the fourth set, Humphries, a two-time quarterfinalist at Alexandra Palace, broke Lim in the third leg and missed a dart in the fourth.
Lim then checked out 56 and 84 to bring the game to a decider, where Humphries’ confidence evaporated. The world number 34 missed 12 darts on a double in the third leg, and Lim finally hit the double four for a crucial break.
Pitching for the match, Lim was left with a 53 pass when his opponent missed the double 13. Lim finished on the double top for the kind of dramatic victory that would have raised the roof of Ally Pally under normal circumstances.
“One for the old folks!” Lim joked after the game. “In the end, it was a battle. I kept telling myself that I should push him. I had to dig deep. “In the second round, he will face current Matchplay World Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh.
After Lim’s epic victory, seventh seed James wade did a comparatively quick job of his second round competition with Callan rydz. The former semi-finalist ran in the first set but Rydz responded and won three darts in double of six to tie it 1-1. The qualifier missed all three and Wade landed a fatal blow, serving 100 to go 2-0 up.
Wade quickly closed out a 3-0 victory with a 93.17 average, and was optimistic about his chances of claiming a first world title. “I have a renewed enthusiasm for darts. I have a lot of good people around me and I’m in a good place right now, ”he said. “If I play my best game, I will win this tournament quite comfortably.”
Scotland John henderson he was unhappy with his form despite going through a five-set battle with Finland Marko kantele. “I won, but I was terrible,” Henderson said. “It was terrible at times, but I did enough to get through.”
Dirk van duijvenbode bounced back from two sets against to deny the junior world champion Bradley Brooks. The 20-year-old from Blackburn seemed to be in control, but his Dutch opponent found a way to throw nine legs in a row and set up a second-round meeting with 2018 champion Rob Cross.
In the Friday afternoon session, Jamie hughes became the first seed to be eliminated by losing 3-0 to Adam Hunt, who followed her first-round victory over Lisa Ashton. Hughes averaged just 75.36 in a below-average performance when Hunt reached the third round, where he will face either Cross or Van Duijvenbode.
Elsewhere, Mickey mansell earned his first world championship victory in style, winning all nine stages in a shutout of New Zealand’s Haupai Puha. Wayne jones, a semi-finalist in 2006, ended a nine-year wait to win at Ally Pally when he beat Irishman Ciaran Teehan in a five-set thriller.
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