MVG too strong for Kist

15 December 2017 21:25:28 GMTPlus11

Defending champion Michael van Gerwen made it safely through to the second round of the 2018 PDC World Darts Championship with a 3-1 victory over fellow Dutchman Christian Kist at the Alexandra Palace.

Mighty Mike ended the game with the third highest first-round average in the history of the tournament as a combination of high scoring and clinical finishing ensured he ended the match with an 106.17 average.

Kist played his part in a high-class game and, by winning the third set, he avoided a whitewash and extended the tie for another three legs. Van Gerwen will now face James Wilson who overcame Poland's Krzysztof Ratajski on Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, the 16th-seeded Gerwyn Price had no problem making it through to the next stage of the competition on the opening night of the tournament.

The Welshman, who qualified to his first major final in 2017, breezed past Ted Evetts 3-0. There was also a victory for 53-year-old Steve Beaton who got past William O'Connor 3-1 to reach the second round for the 12th time in his career.

In Friday's action, 16-time champion of the world Phil Taylor begins his bid for another title in what is his farewell to the tournament. The Power is 1/9 to defeat Chris Dobey and keep his dream alive of ending his career with another world crown.

Taylor last won the event in 2013 when he defeated Van Gerwen 7-4 in a memorable final. The man from Stoke has had a solid season with the highlight being his victory in the World Matchplay in July.

Former BDO world champion Stephen Bunting in also up to the oche on Friday evening. He is 4/6 to get the better of Dimitri van den Bergh in what is one of the standout first-round ties.

Rob Cross will face the winner of the preliminary game between Seigo Asada and Gordon Mathers.

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