Defending champion Adrian Lewis survives World Darts Championships scare


Lewis survived an opening-round scare to progress to the second round of the 2012 Ladbrokes World Darts Championships at Alexandra Palace.


By Daniel Jolly

Defending champion Adrian Lewis survived an almighty opening-round scare to progress to the second round of the 2012 Ladbrokes World Darts Championships at the Alexandra Palace.

Memories of his victory in January’s final against Gary Anderson were swiftly banished, as his opponent, Leamington Spa’s Nigel Heydon, raced into a two set lead.

Despite being stung by a wasp in a break after the second set, ‘Jackpot’ Lewis dug deep to complete an unlikely turnaround, and the world number two will now face Gary Anderson or Ian Smith in the next round

“I thought it wasn’t going to be my night,” Lewis told

“To be 2-0 down and then get stung by a wasp is awful luck, but I kept fighting right to the end and I never thought I was going out.

“Nigel played fantastic darts and put me under the cosh all the way through, and his finishing in the first two sets was phenomenal.”

The £1 million tournament kicked off in style as Roland Scholten, Wayne Jones and Richie Burnett sealed their spots in round two.

Burnett won a five-set thriller against fellow Welshman Mark Webster, the sixth seed and semi-finalist at the last two World Championships.

Wolverhampton’s Jones triumphed 3-1 against Hong Kong’s Scott MacKenzie, who booked his place in the main tournament with a 4-2 preliminary round victory against newcomer Paul Barham.

Jones’ next opponent will be Dutchman Scholten, who looked back to his best in a three sets to one victory over 18th seed Jamie Caven.

Today’s action sees 15-time champion Phil Taylor begins his quest for the title against either Haruki Muramatsu of Japan or Swede Dennis Nilsson, a former winner of Sweden’s Strongest Man.

Other matches include in-form Englishman Justin Pipe taking on Australian Sean Reed, Holland’s Co Stompe facing young gun Michael Smith and UK Open finalist Wes Newton playing Belgian debutant Kurt Van De Rijck.

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