World Darts Championship: Michael Van Gerwen overcomes sluggish start to ease into third round

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Michael Van Gerwen was slow out of the blocks but he got his bid for a fourth World Darts Championship off to a winning start as he moved into the third round.

The Dutchman has made a habit of losing a set in his opening round at the tournament in recent years, and he did so again as Chas Barstow took the opener.

Barstow also won the first leg of the second set, but Van Gerwen suddenly found his form and won six successive legs to move into a 2-1 lead.

He then finished the job off in the next set, to ensure he will be returning to Ally Pally after Christmas.

Earlier in the day, Darius Labanauskas hit the second nine-dart finish in 24 hours at the tournament but it came in a disappointing defeat.

After debutant William Borland dramatically won the deciding leg of his first-round match against Bradley Brooks in the quickest way possible, the Lithuanian matched the feat in the opening set of his match.

In the fourth leg against Belgian Mike De Decker, Labanauskas followed up an opening visit of 177, with a maximum 180 before checking out with a treble 20, treble 17, double 18 combination to seal the set.

However, any joy for Labanauskas was short-lived as De Decker hit back to claim a 3-1 victory and book a second-round showdown against Dave Chisnall, a beaten semi-finalist last year.

Raymond Smith, Callan Rydz and Ian White were early winners on Saturday, while Adam Hunt and Rowby-John Rodriguez recorded 3-0 victories over Boris Krcmar and Nick Kenny respectively, and Jim Williams defeated Ted Evetts 3-1.

Additional reporting by PA Sport.

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