The Second Round of the 2021 World Cup of Darts takes centre stage in Jena on Saturday as the top…
The Second Round of the 2021 World Cup of Darts takes centre stage in Jena on Saturday as the top darting nations aim to make their move.
The opening round of the annual 32-nation event saw all eight seeded nations safely avert an early exit.
Now, the focus switches from pairs matches to singles, with a pairs match required as a decider should the two singles matches be split one apiece.
Wales step up the defence of their title with a tie against Lithuania as World Champion Gerwyn Price and Premier League champion Jonny Clayton face off against Darius Labanauskas and Mindaugas Barauskas of Lithuania.
Price and Clayton safely saw off Finland 5-2 on opening night, while Lithuania defeated Hungary 5-3 and are now eyeing what would be a monumental upset.
Four-time winners England, represented for the first time by the duo of James Wade and Dave Chisnall, continue their quest for glory with a clash against South Africa.
Wade and Chisnall eased past Brazil 5-2 on Friday night but will be wary of the threat posed by former Euro Tour event winner Devon Petersen and Carl Gabriel – who edged out Spain in a decider.
The afternoon session also sees former finalists Australia take on USA as Simon Whitlock and Damon Heta come up against Danny Lauby Jr and Chuck Puleo.
The Aussie duo are in pursuit of the trophy in memory of the late Kyle Anderson and made a perfect start by whitewashing Italy 5-0 on Thursday, while USA were also impressive in seeing off Sweden 5-1 with a 92 average.
Fifth seeds Northern Ireland face a tricky task against Portugal as World Cup veterans Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan face Jose De Sousa and José Marquês – making only their second appearance in the event.
Gurney and Dolan survived a major scare against Hong Kong in Round One, prevailing in a deciding leg, while Portugal pulled off a terrific last-leg win over 2019 runners-up Republic of Ireland.
Netherlands, the joint record four-time World Cup winners, aim to avoid becoming the latest victims of the two Lims – Paul and Harith of Singapore.
Michael van Gerwen linked up with Dirk van Duijvenbode for the first time as they cruised past Denmark 5-1, while Singapore came from 3-0 and 4-2 down to edge out Gibraltar, with 67-year-old Paul Lim taking out 116 in the decider to seal it.
Peter Wright, who claimed this title in 2019, is partnered by John Henderson for the first time as the Scottish duo look to seal their progress to the final day of action.
Scotland, who whitewashed China in Round One, now face the dangerous Polish pair of Krzysztof Ratajski and Krzysztof Kciuk – who averaged 105 in their thrilling win over Czech Republic to produce the stand-out performance of the First Round.
Fresh from their solid opening win over 2019 quarter-finalists Canada, hosts Germany face off against Japan as Gabriel Clemens and Max Hopp aim to delight the partisan Jena crowd by overcoming debutants Matsuda Jun and Yoshihisa Baba.
Former finalists Belgium, represented by 2020 World Matchplay champion Dimitri van den Bergh and former Players Championship Finals runner-up Kim Huybrechts, take on another pair with World Cup experience aplenty in Mensur Suljović and Rowby-John Rodriguez.
Belgium dispatched Greece 5-2 in their opener, while Austria powered past the Philippines 5-1 and will be quietly confident of their chances this weekend.
The action gets under way from 1pm BST, with Second Round ties to be played as two best of seven legs singles matches.
In the event of both nations winning one singles match apiece, a best of seven-leg doubles match will be contested to decide the tie.
World Cup of Darts 2021 Day Three Schedule
All times BST
Saturday September 11
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm)
Northern Ireland v Portugal
England v South Africa
Australia v USA
Belgium v Austria
Evening Session (7pm-10pm)
Scotland v Poland
Germany v Japan
Netherlands v Singapore
Wales v Lithuania