Day 4 darts review: Barney and Bunting set up tasty WDC rematch


Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | December 20, 2015

Day four reaction

  • New Zealander Szabo sees off Rasztovits
  • Murnan edges epic with former finalist Hamilton
  • Suljovic overcomes slow start to ease past Wattimena
  • Caven too good for Szabo in last match of afternoon
  • Oreshkin narrowly defeats legend Lim
  • Bunting bullish in victory over Artut
  • Van Barneveld wins Dutch battle against Van Duijvenbode
  • Comeback King survives Oreshkin scare to triumph 3-2
  • Check out Coral’s Monday evening session preview

Barney and Bunting set up second round duel

We are now just over half-way into the first round of the 2016 PDC World Darts Championship, in terms of days, and yet again the Alexandra Palace provided top tungsten entertainment on Sunday.

Munsur Suljovic and Jamie Caven, in the afternoon session, and Raymond van Barneveld, Stephen Bunting and Mervyn King in the evening were notable winners on day four, while seed Andy Hamilton was upset by Joe Murnan.

Afternoon session

Michael Rasztovits 0-2 Rob Szabo (2-3, 2-3)

With Kim Huybrechts suffering a first round shock, only one Hurricane still remained in this year’s tournament, Szabo, and the New Zealander did just enough to see off his Austrian opponent.

The 50-year-old Kiwi, who boasts the claim of being the only person to take a set off Phil Taylor in the first round of this event (in 2014), was largely outscored by Rasztovits, but his crucial consistency and checkout percentage set him up a clash with Jamie Caven.

Andy Hamilton 2-3 Joe Murnan (3-2, 1-3, 3-2, 2-3, 4-6)

It was a sedate start, but things soon picked up, as Murnan came three throws away from hitting a nine-darter in the third leg. However, 2012 runner-up here Hamilton used his experience to edge the opening set.

The Hammer was expected to run away with the match after that, but Shaggy dug deep to eventually grind out a win in five sets. That was only after some woeful finishing from both men and confusion near the end when Murnan thought he’d won at 5-4 up in the tie-break.

Bolton’s Murnan faces a tough test in the second round whoever he plays, as he’ll take on the winner of Robert Thornton and Alan Norris on Monday, December 28th in the afternoon session.

Mensur Suljovic 3-1 Jermaine Wattimena (2-3, 3-2, 3-0, 3-1)

It took a while for Suljovic, who has had a remarkable year to date, to get going, as Dutchman Wattimena took a surprise 1-0 lead, but The Gentle soon started to show the form that saw him through to the semis at the World Grand Prix and Players Championship Finals this year.

The highly-passionate Austrian was not as prolific with his doubles as his younger counterpart, but his dominant scoring eventually saw him through with relative ease.

Suljovic now goes up against Kim Huybrechts’ conqueror David Pallett in the next round (also on Monday, December 28th in the afternoon session) in a bid to match his last 16 appearance here back in 2011.

Jamie Caven 3-0 Rob Szabo (3-2, 3-0, 3-0)

Experienced Kiwi Szabo came close to snatching the first set, but in the end former Champions League semi-finalist Caven’s quality was too much for the preliminary round qualifier to send him on the long trip back home.

Rapid thrower Ricky Evans stands in the way of Jabba next in the second round on Boxing day. It will be new territory for both players, whoever goes through.

Evening session

Aleksandr Oreshkin 2-1 Paul Lim (3-1, 2-3, 3-2)

With a combined age of 115, this match perhaps didn’t promise much. However, fans were handed a riveting show between the legendary Singapore Slinger Lim (61), who hit the first ever World Championship nine-darter (in 1990), and unknown Russian Oreshkin (54).

Cool, calm Oreshkin came right out the blocks from the start, averaging over 100 midway into the match at one point. A dip in level allowed Lim, whose first World Championship was in 1982, right back into it, but in the end the Russian held his nerve to edge a sudden-death decider and set himself up for a battle later with Mervyn King.

Stephen Bunting 3-0 Jyhan Artut (3-0, 3-1, 3-2)

The Bullet needed a confidence-boosting victory over dangerous German Artut, after a below average year by his standards, and he certainly made a statement right from the off following his distinctive crowd-raising walk-on song.

Bunting, who reached the quarters last year in his first World Championship since winning the BDO version in 2014, dropped just three legs on his way to winning, though only after overcoming a nervy ending.

The Englishman will now have to face the very man that knocked him out of the 2015 tournament and reduced him to tears along the way – five-time world champion Van Barneveld – who followed him on the oche.

Raymond van Barneveld 3-0 Dirk van Duijvenbode (3-2, 3-2, 3-0)

Ever-popular Barney certainly provided the biggest cheer of the night, and perhaps even the tournament so far, and he eased through this all-Dutch duel against Van Duijvenbode, who used to idolise his compatriot.

Young pretender Titan did threaten to level the scores at 1-1, but with 180 left on the board he accidentally hit the maximum to bust himself instead of leaving double tops, which allowed Van Barneveld (50/1 title chance) to capitalise and go 2-0 up.

Barney was far from his best, but did just enough and got big scores at the right time to, as stated above, set up a second round clash with Bunting on Sunday, December 27th in the evening session.

Mervyn King 3-2 Aleksandr Oreshkin (1-3, 2-3, 3-0, 3-1, 3-1)

Eccentric Russian Oreshkin returned to the stage for the last match of the night, and threatened to become the first preliminary qualifier to reach round two when he claimed the opening set against King.

However, three-time BDO major winner and semi-finalist here in 2009 The King managed to avoid another early upset, as he did in this event last year to rising star Max Hopp.

Oreshkin did go 2-0 up after some terrific finishing including a 134 checkout to take the second set, but King’s 100-plus average soon counted for something as the Englishman fought back to triumph.


Check out more from our dedicated darts archive, where you’ll find much more on the 2016 PDC World Darts Championship.

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