Schedule PDC World Darts Championship Friday afternoon (21-12) with North and West
The Friday schedule for the PDC World Championship features eight players who may all fancy their chances.
Play begins with the 30th seed, Benito van de Pas, facing a crucial match in his fledgling career. In the past year, the Dutchman has appeared in four majors; the 2018 World Championship, where he went out in the first round. The Masters, where he posted the lowest average by far and again went out right away. A first round exit also beckoned in the Players Championship Finals. Then there was the UK Open, where he met his end at the second stage. It means Storm Emma has knocked more players out of majors in the past 12 months than Big Ben. Jim Long is a big underdog here. But the Canadian beat the odds in a 3-1 win over Micky Mansell. Why can't history repeat itself here?
John Henderson wouldn't mind a re-run. Last year, he saw off a European player and toppled a big seed, before losing in the last 16. If he can see off a European player Gabriel Clemens ) and topple a big seed (Michael Smith) he'd have Ryan Searle or William O'Connor in the last 16. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Clemens barely broke a sweat in thrashing Aden Kirk. The big German is capable of more, and in this battle of behemoths, one must muscle the other out of contention.
Last of the Steves
We've seen two Steves and two Stephens depart already, along with a Stevenson. It means Steve West is the last man standing among his namesakes. He won't be feeling the pressure to progress on behalf of Steve-kind, but the Englishman will relish the opportunity to be here beyond Christmas. He plays Richard North , a man who isn't known for imaginative nicknames (his is 'Northy'), but is known for being a solid player who is more than capable of winning this. He was pushed hard by Robert Marijanovic, but the steel shown in a 3-2 win will stand him in good stead going forward.
A member of the World Championship's elite nine dart club brings the session to a close. It's been five years since Kyle Anderson managed perfection against Ian White; he went on to lose the game. His Ally Pally form is such that he turns up here having already matched his best ever result in the tournament. A maiden third round appearance is certainly within his grasp. Noel Malicdem struck a blow for Asian darts in a win over Jeffrey de Graaf. His PDC Asian Tour counterparts are all gone, but Malicdem could yet claim a famous win and set up a tasty third round tie against Gerwyn Price or Nathan Aspinall.
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