EYEMOUTH’S Gary Anderson (pictured) laid down a marker to the rest of the field with a first round whitewash victory over Japan’s Morihiro Hashimoto at the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship on Saturday night.
Hashimoto did not disgrace himself on the big stage but Anderson was in a class of his own as he won the match with a three-dart average over 103.
Hashimoto, who obtained crowd favouritism after his preliminary round victory against Matt Padgett earlier in the evening, thrilled his fans with a 180 in the opening leg.
But it was Anderson who held throw for an early lead and then doubled his advantage with a 14-darter, which included a maximum of his own.
Anderson fired in another 180 in the third leg and took out an excellent 122 checkout to seal the first set in double-quick time.
The second set began with Hashimoto missing two chances to win his first leg of the match, and Anderson was ready and waiting as he stepped in by hitting double 18.
That gave the Scotsman a break of throw and a 76 finish to win the second leg and he kept the momentum going with his third 180 of the contest in the next leg only for Hashimoto to reply with one of his own.
But Anderson was still in front in the leg and hit double top to complete a 13-dart finish and establish total command of the game.
Anderson took out 80 to win the opening leg of the third set and he then won the next two legs in comfortable fashion, ending the contest with another successful attempt at double top to win the game.
“There’s a lot of good dart players in countries like Japan and Morihiro did great,” said Anderson. “It will be a big boost for darts in his country.
“I hit my doubles at the right times and I had to because he was hot on my heels, and he played really well.
“I’m very pleased that I’m through and with my performance. I saw I was averaging 109 at one point and I wanted to break the 110 mark, but it was a good performance anyway.”
Gary came in for a bit of stick from the Alexandra Palace fans on Saturday night as they put their vocal weight behind underdog Hashimoto but he knows he will always get barracked down south by the crowd.
“The Japanese lad was always going to get all the support because he was playing against a Scotsman in London!
“But when the crowd goes against me it actually helps. When it happens I just shut down and concentrate solely on what I have to do.”
Anderson will now play either Dennis Priestly or Bernd Roith in the second round but not until December 27.