Where better to go for your Saturday night entertainment than the Czech Darts Open as the European Tour rolls on? In the first two matches of the night it was Danny Noppert and Rob Cross who secured their progression to the next round.
First up, Danny Noppert was taking on Jose de Sousa and it was the former UK Open champ and Lakeside finalist who started the better, breaking throw in the opener to edge into an early lead. After de Sousa made a mess of an attempted 61 in the second leg, Noppert moved two clear.
Schedule and preview Saturday evening session 2023 Czech Darts Open including Van Gerwen, Cullen-Sedlacek and Humphries-Ross Smith
Continuing his impressive display on the outer ring, Noppert picked up a thrid straight leg before an 86 checkout in two darts saw him go 4-0 ahead. Ruthlessly nailing double top for a 5-0 lead, de Sousa was at risk of a whitewash defeat. After Noppert missed the bullseye for the 6-0 win, de Sousa returned to pin tops and get a leg on the board.
The Portuguese number one wasn't content with just stopping the whitewash though, he believed the comeback was on as he took a second straight leg to pull back to 5-2. When Noppert missed two more for the match in the 8th leg, de Sousa was again on hand to punish and pull another leg back. Holding throw in the 9th leg, de Sousa was suddenly just one leg behind Noppert with a higher average. Sadly for 'the Special One' the comeback stopped there as Noppert stopped the rot to take a 6-4 victory.
In the second game of the night, Madars Razma was facing off against the former World Champion, Rob Cross. The Englishman, fighting to keep his place in the World Cup of Darts team alongside Michael Smith, took the opener then wired the bullseye for a 2-0 lead. After he missed though Razma was on hand to level up at 1-1.
A clinical 96 from Cross then restored his lead before Razma would pin double 6 to get back level. Continuing the run of successful holds of throw, Cross moved 3-2 ahead before getting the first break of the match and moving two legs clear. Double 8 then helped increase Cross's lead at 5-2 but after he made a hash of a 68 checkout, Razma was allowed back in and greatfully made it 5-3. A few moments later though, Cross secured the victory on double 8.
NOPPERT SURVIVES DE SOUSA SCARE! 🇳🇱— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) May 13, 2023
Jose de Sousa fights back from 5-0 down against Danny Noppert, only for the Dutchman to fire in an 11-darter to end a run of five straight defeats against the Portuguese star!
🔜 Rob Cross v Madars Razma
📺 https://t.co/M782z4qQ7i | #ET8 pic.twitter.com/fZ3tMLiaxh