Smith defies 108 average to defeat Krcmar, Cross safely through with victory over Lowe
Smith was facing a familiar foe in Boris Krcmar who has beaten him a few times this year but was making his debut in the tournament.
In the end, 'Bully Boy' came through with a thrilling 6-5 victory over 'The Biggest' but defied a 108 average in the process to come through.
Krcmar moved 2-0 up in the opening stage but Smith returned with a 142 checkout on his way to levelling it up at 2-2.
The multiple Soft Tip World Champion headed into the interval with a 127 checkout to move 3-2 up but a brilliant and pivotal clutch 145 saw Smith move 4-3 up.
It was level from there on out but in the decider with Krcmar unable to muster a shot at a 116 checkout, Smith hit double 10 for the win.
While his World Cup partner proved too strong for Jason Lowe with Rob Cross coming through safely in a 6-3 win with a 98.3 average and 6/7 on the doubles en route.
Like alluded to though, the shocks came on the outer stages with Ryan Murray edging past Stephen Bunting in a 6-4 win with back-to-back checkouts of 138 and 121.
While 'Evil Charlie' Karel Sedlacek punished 14 missed darts at double from Krzysztof Ratajski to book his place in Round Two 6-4.
Players Championship Finals 2020 schedule
Friday, November 27
Afternoon session (from 13:45)
Dirk van Duijvenbode (101.16) 6-4 (102.85) William O'Connor
Michael Smith (100.18) 6-5 (107.79) Boris Krcmar
Rob Cross (98.34) 6-3 (94.15) Jason Lowe
Joe Cullen v Adam Hunt
Devon Petersen v Luke Humphries
Ryan Searle v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Adrian Lewis v Simon Whitlock
Brendan Dolan (97.71) 4-6 (99.04) Luke Woodhouse
Ryan Joyce (93.19) 4-6 (94.57) Andy Boulton
Stephen Bunting (89.63) 4-6 (90.04) Ryan Murray
Krzysztof Ratajski (93.63) 4-6 (86.36) Karel Sedlacek
Gabriel Clemens v Martijn Kleermaker
Ian White v William Borland
Jonny Clayton v Mickey Mansell
Daryl Gurney v Callan Rydz
Dave Chisnall v Mervyn King