World Champion Michael Smith was a shock casualty on Day Two of the 2023 Interwetten International Darts Open, as he crashed out 6-1 to Mike De Decker in Riesa on Saturday.
Michael van Gerwen was also pushed all the way, but progressed alongside the likes of Gerwyn Price, Nathan Aspinall and Peter Wright, as 13 of the 16 seeded players made it through to the final day of action.
Smith has struggled for form so far on the European Tour, having failed to make it past the third round in the opening two events.
Nevertheless, the victory for De Decker was convincing, with the Belgian restricting Smith to just four attempts at a double.
De Decker sauntered to the first three legs, before a fleeting moment of excellence from Smith saw him land his first 180 to set up an 86 finish for an 11-darter to get his first leg on the board.
But that was as good as it got for the world number one, with De Decker rattling through the next three legs to secure his place in the last 16.
Dimitri Van den Bergh was the other high profile casualty on Day Two, as he slipped to a 6-1 defeat against home favourite Nico Springer.
It was a nightmare evening for the Premier League star, who landed just 7% of his attempts at double and averaged 82 as Springer comfortably moved through to Finals Day.
Top seed Van Gerwen was made to work hard for his passage into Sunday's third round, as he edged past Canada's Matt Campbell in a last-leg thriller.
Campbell - who was playing with a borrowed set of darts after his luggage failed to arrive in Germany - missed two darts at double 18 to secure a shock victory - only to watch Van Gerwen pin double ten with his last dart in hand to scrape through.
Elsewhere, reigning champion Gerwyn Price continued his fine form as he blew away European Champion Ross Smith 6-3.
The Welshman posted the highest average of the day at 104.24 and fired a 142 checkout in a devastating performance that saw him lead 4-0, before Smith rallied late to bow out in more respectable fashion.
There will be more German interest in the final day as Martin Schindler powered past Raymond van Barneveld 6-4, but it was the end of the road for World Championship semi-finalist Gabriel Clemens, as he fell to a 6-3 defeat against Dirk van Duijvenbode.
World number two Wright, who has struggled for form in this year's Premier League so far, returned to winning ways as he beat Jose Justicia 6-3.
The Scot produced an assured performance and sealed the victory with a stunning 145 finish to set up a third round tie with compatriot Alan Soutar - who had seen off ninth seed Joe Cullen 6-2 earlier in the day.
Jonny Clayton, a winner in the Berlin leg of the Premier League on Thursday, continued his winning form as he saw off Brian Raman 6-4.
The afternoon session ended in comical fashion as Nathan Aspinall was struck by a falling part of the set after his 6-2 win over Mario Vandenbogaerde.
Jose de Sousa impressed as he thrashed Lee Evans 6-0, whilst Dave Chisnall put in the performance of the afternoon as he averaged over 100 in a 6-2 win over UK Open Champion Andrew Gilding.
Meanwhile, there were also victories for Rob Cross (6-3 vs Steve Lennon), Josh Rock (6-4 vs Florian Hempel), Damon Heta (6-3 vs Brendan Dolan) and Danny Noppert (6-5 vs Liam Maendl-Lawrance).
The action concludes on Sunday with the last 16 action in the afternoon, before the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Final take place in a bumper evening session at the International Darts Open.
The tournament is being broadcast live on Viaplay, DAZN and PDCTV (excluding Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and through bookmakers' websites worldwide.
Click here for results and match stats.
2023 Interwetten International Darts Open
Saturday April 1
Danny Noppert 6-5 Liam Maendl-Lawrance
Damon Heta 6-3 Brendan Dolan
Jose de Sousa 6-0 Lee Evans
Rob Cross 6-3 Steve Lennon
Alan Soutar 6-2 Joe Cullen
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Andrew Gilding
Josh Rock 6-4 Florian Hempel
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Mario Vandenbogaerde
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Brian Raman
Niko Springer 6-1 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Peter Wright 6-3 Jose Justicia
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Matt Campbell
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Ross Smith
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3 Gabriel Clemens
Martin Schindler 6-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Mike De Decker 6-1 Michael Smith
Sunday April 2
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Michael van Gerwen v Jose de Sousa
Peter Wright v Alan Soutar
Dave Chisnall v Jonny Clayton
Nathan Aspinall v Martin Schindler
Damon Heta v Niko Springer
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Danny Noppert
Rob Cross v Josh Rock
Mike De Decker v Gerwyn Price
Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Sunday’s games played in Draw Bracket order