Gary Anderson staged a dramatic fight-back to reach the last 16 of the PDC World Darts Championships in London on Boxing Day.
The ‘Flying Scotsman’ faced former BDO world champion Jelle Klaasen from Holland in the second round at the Alexandra Palace, and looked to be on his way out as he trailed 1-3 in the best of seven sets match.
But he stormed back and won through 4-3 in what was described by some of the commentators as a ‘classic’ game.
The 2011 finalist was staring down the barrel of defeat at 3-1 down in sets and 2-1 behind in the fifth set until he hit the bull for an 84 finish with Klaasen sat on 89 for the match.
Anderson then claimed that set and then went on to win a high-quality sixth set 3-1, with a barrage of 180s and three 80-plus finishes forcing a deciding set.
Although Klaasen finished a 13-darter to level in the final set, it was Anderson who had the final say as he 126 checkout for a 12-darter to move to the brink of victory before landing two 180s in a remarkable 11-darter to win the game in style.
Having lost to van Gerwen from 3-1 up in last year’s tournament, Anderson turned history on its head with the triumph as he moves through to a third round tie against Cristo Reyes.
“I’m not sure where that comeback came from,” admitted the Scot, who lives in Burnham on Sea. “I managed to somehow pinch that fifth set and then from there I started to really enjoy it, and the darts started to flow a bit better. I was hitting big scores and finishing big as well.”