Round Two of the 2020 World Cup of Darts takes centre stage in Salzburg on Saturday with six seeded nations…
Round Two of the 2020 World Cup of Darts takes centre stage in Salzburg on Saturday with six seeded nations among those aiming to reach the final day of action.
Day One of the annual 32-nation tournament notably saw both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland bow out of the competition at the first hurdle, two teams enjoyed winning debuts.
Focus now shifts from the pairs format to singles, though matches will be decided by pairs if the singles ties are shared one apiece.
The afternoon session sees England looking to remain in contention for a fifth World Cup crown by overcoming Lithuania.
Premier League stars Rob Cross and Michael Smith came through a tricky opener 5-3 against the Philippines on Friday and will now look to press home their quality and experience over the singles format.
The duo were beaten by the Republic of Ireland at this stage of the competition last year and will be determined to go a step further and stamp their authority in the top half of the draw.
Captained by World Championship quarter-finalist Darius Labanauskas, Lithuania recorded their maiden World Cup victory as Mindaugas Barauskas also stepped up to the plate in a 5-3 success over Gibraltar.
Canada produced arguably the performance of the opening day as they dumped out Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan of Northern Ireland with a combined average of 94.5.
Former Lakeside finalist Jeff Smith took out 154 as he partnered debutant Matt Campbell to a memorable victory, and the Canadian duo will look to repeat the feat when they take on New Zealand.
Cody Harris and Haupai Puha are bidding to reach the Quarter-Finals for the second successive year and began brightly by overcoming Denmark 5-2.
Former finalists Belgium look to continue their impressive record in this event by reaching yet another Quarter-Final, this time at the expense of newcomers Latvia.
Veteran Kim Huybrechts and reigning World Matchplay champion Dimitri van den Bergh came from 3-1 down to edge out the Czech Republic 5-4 in Friday’s opener.
Latvia, meanwhile, received an eleventh hour call-up after China were forced to withdraw, and Madars Razma and Janis Mustafejevs took full advantage as they denied Hong Kong in a dramatic decider.
Mustafejevs moved from Latvia to St Helens in 2015 and only started playing darts in 2017, mentored by PDC Tour Card holder Razma.
Portugal were another side to enjoy a fine debut in the World Cup of Darts as they whitewashed Hungary 5-0.
European Tour event winner Jose de Sousa and TV debutant José Marques look to have formed a dangerous pairing but will be required to perform strongly as individuals when they take on hosts Austria.
Eighth seeds Mensur Suljovic and Rowby-John Rodriguez are vying to reach the Quarter-Finals for the second successive year, having defeated the USA 5-2 on Friday.
The evening session centres around a mouth-watering tie between reigning champions Scotland and two-time runners-up Wales.
World number three Gerwyn Price and European Championship semi-finalist Jonny Clayton were emphatic in whitewashing Russia 5-0 last night and will be keen to continue that ruthless form.
They face a new-look Scotland side comprised of former UK Open champion Robert Thornton and Premier League Contender John Henderson – who replaced Peter Wright and Gary Anderson after the pair both withdrew.
Thornton and Henderson dug deep to overcome a plucky Japan side 5-3 but now face a tough ask against the in-form Welsh duo in the quick-fire singles format.
Netherlands step up their quest for a record fifth World Cup title when they take on Spain in the final match of the evening.
World number one Michael van Gerwen was partnered for the first time by former Lakeside finalist Danny Noppert, and the pair coasted to a 5-1 win over Brazil with a 94 average.
World Cup ever-present Toni Alcinas and debutant partner Jesús Noguera pulled off a dramatic 5-4 win over Italy but now face a monumental task if they are to complete what would be an historic upset.
Former finalists Australia take on Poland in one of the most closely-matched ties of the Second Round.
World Cup veteran Simon Whitlock and debutant Damon Heta were clinical in defeating last year’s runners-up Republic of Ireland 5-2 and could prove to be spoilers in a fascinating section of the draw.
Top 16 star Krzysztof Ratajski and former Tour Card holder Krzysztof Kciuk whitewashed South Africa 5-0 and will be quietly confident of upsetting the odds here.
Germany recorded the highest average of the opening round (96.35) as they swept aside Finland, and Max Hopp and Gabriel Clemens will now look to transfer that form into the singles when they take on Greece.
John Michael and Veniamin Symeonidis pulled off a terrific 5-0 whitewash of Sweden to end Greece’s three-year wait for a World Cup win and will enter this clash without pressure as the rank outsiders.
The action gets underway from 12pm GMT, 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 played to decide the tie.
World Cup of Darts 2020 Schedule
All times GMT (local time one hour ahead)
Saturday November 7
Afternoon Session (12pm-4pm)
Canada v New Zealand
Austria v Portugal
Belgium v Latvia
England v Lithuania
Evening Session (6pm-10pm)
Australia v Poland
Wales v Scotland
Germany v Greece
Netherlands v Spain