SINGAPORE produced one of the biggest shocks in the history of the Betway World Cup of Darts as they defeated number one seeds Scotland 5-2 on the opening day of the 2017 tournament in Frankfurt.
The 32-nation tournament opened at the Eissporthalle with the opening eight first round games on Thursday night, with former World Champion Gary Anderson and UK Open champion Peter Wright being dumped out at the first round stage.
Paul Lim, making his fourth consecutive appearance at the World Cup, opened the match by hitting a 180, which set the tone for the rest of the encounter, as Singapore broke throw in the opening leg.
Scotland looked to have restored order as they immediately broke back, with Anderson hitting tops in the second leg before Lim and his partner Harith Lim regained their lead by breaking the throw again in the third.
The match looked to be swinging back Scotland’s way as Singapore missed five darts for a second break in the fifth leg, allowing Scotland to close the gap to one.
However, after the Scots missed their chance to level in leg six, it was to be the oldest player in the tournament who produced the magic moment as Paul Lim took out 100 on tops to seal a memorable win.
“This is a massive moment for Singapore, its a great win,” said Harith Lim after the match. “When we saw the draw we were just happy to play against two of the best players in the world."
Veteran star Paul Lim, 63, added: "I knew if we put them under pressure we would have a chance but to win the match is so fantastic."
Singapore will now face Spain, who were provided with with a serious test before the pairing of Antonio Alcinas and Cristo Reyes prevailed in a 5-3 victory over Japan.
The Japanese side of Haruki Muramatsu and Yuki Yamada raced in to a 3-1 lead before a run of four straight legs confirmed the victory for the Spanish.
Eighth seeds Australia had to survive a match dart as they sneaked past Denmark to reach the second round.
The team of Kyle Anderson and Simon Whitlock were expected to have far too much for Per Laursen and Alex Jensen, but the Danes had other ideas.
The third leg saw Australia break throw but Laursen returned the favour in the next, taking out 116 to break back and level the match.
The encounter then went with throw until the deciding leg where Laursen missed his chance to seal an unlikely win and allow Anderson in on tops for the Australians.
"I needed my partner there," said Whitlock, who was struggling with a wrist injury. "My wrist is in a lot of pain so I just had to stick in there and let Kyle do the business."
Kyle Anderson, who is making his second appearance at the Betway World Cup of Darts. was happy to take the lead role.
"I had to play well tonight and I think I did that," said the Perth thrower. "I started a bit nervy but once I found my range it was all ok. I'm delighted to get through that one."
Australia’s second round opponents will be Russia as Boris Koltsov produced a moment of magic to secure their place in the next round with a 5-3 win over Hong Kong.
With the match going with throw the Russian took out 110 on double 16 to break the throw in leg three, giving them a lead which they would never lose.
The tournament opened with the Greek team of John Michael and Ioannis Selachoglou having to battle back from 3-1 down to overcome Thailand in a 5-3 victory.
The Greeks will now face Belgium, who needed an impressive individual performance from Kim Huybrechts to help pull himself and his brother Ronny past New Zealand.
The match looked a tough draw for the 2013 finalists, but world number 12 Huybrechts showed his class hitting four maximums as they ran out 5-2 winners against Cody Harris and Rob Szabo.
"Ronny and I know that even when one of us played badly, the other can pull us through." said Kim, the younger of the brothers. "I played well today but I know next time I might need Ronny and I believe he will be there for me."
The Republic of Ireland booked a second round clash with Wales after beating Poland 5-3 in a close encounter.
William O’Connor started the match in style, taking out 106 to hold in the opening leg of the match.
However, it was Poland who were first to break the throw, pinning tops in the fifth leg for a 3-2 lead.
Mick McGowan then found double eight in the next leg to break back immediately as Ireland went on to win three legs in a row and seal the victory.
Mark Webster and Gerwyn Price had to average 100.14 and survive two match darts as Wales edged past Finland in a last leg decider.
The final match of the opening day of action in Frankfurt began with Finland moving in to a 2-0 lead to put the pressure on Wales, before Webster rose to the occasion taking out 124 on the bull to break back immediately.
The match then went with throw, including a 141 finish from Finland in leg seven before the match went to a deciding leg.
Finland then had two opportunities to win the tie, but Kim Viljanen missed two darts at tops to seal the victory and Webster stepped in to pin double five before speaking of his relief.
"That was tough!" said the left-hander, a finalist in 2010. "The guys played so well but fortunately I had Gerwyn with me, he was brilliant.
"The scoring from him was great and fortunately I was there to tidy it up at the end."
Price, who hit four maximums and a 177 during the game, was pleased with the win.
“It’s great to get over the line, I scored well but this is a team game and Mark hit the most important double of the night," said the 32-year old.
The first round concludes on Friday evening with the remaining eight games, including reigning champions England - represented by World cup debutant Dave Chisnall and Adrian Lewis - up against Gibraltar's Dyson Parody and Dylan Duo.
Betway World Cup of Darts
Thursday June 1
Greece 5-3 Thailand
Russia 5-3 Hong Kong
Republic of Ireland 5-3 Poland
Spain 5-3 Japan
Belgium 5-2 New Zealand
Australia 5-4 Denmark
Singapore 5-2 Scotland
Wales 5-4 Finland