Andy Baetens has reached the second round of the BDO World Championship on debut after a thrilling 3-2 victory over Scott Baker.
13th seed Baetens edged through the final set to claim the win in what was, so far, the best tie of the first round. Baker claimed the first set, breaking the Belgian’s throw and finishing 25 under pressure. Baetens was waiting on the same after missing bull for a 161 checkout. Baetens then kicked off set two with a 123 finish and a break. That set into motion a short run of breaks, before Baetens held to make it 1-1.
Baetens struck his first of four 180s at the beginning of the third set, only for Baker to respond in kind. As in the first set, the Englishman needed just one break of throw to hold out and retake the lead. But the seeded player was far from done. An excellent 117 against the darts put him in front in the fourth set. A much simpler 53 checkout was even more vital. The last set went all the way, with Baetens edging in front but Baker holding throw to strike back every time. Baetens’ heavy scoring threatened to be the crucial factor; in all, the 28-year-old threw an impressive 22 scores of 140.
An excellent 118 finish kept Baker’s hopes alive, but the Black Country thrower missed crucial darts in the seventh leg of the set. Baetens pounced, striking the double two. Both hits 180s in the eighth leg, but it was Baetens who held his nerve to secure a second round clash with fourth seed Scott Mitchell. The Belgian’s 86.73 was narrowly better than Baker’s 85.75, which reflected how close the game was. Had the pair not missed a combined 71 darts at a double, the averages would have been much higher.
Click here for more information about the schedule for the first round. The TV schedule for Lakeside can be found here. Click here for more information about the Lakeside 2018 prize fund.
— BDO Darts (@BDOdarts) January 8, 2018
Tags: Andy Baetens, BDO, Lakeside 2018
Author: Ed McCosh