- World Darts Championship
Whitlock limps past Beaton
Simon Whitlock won the battle of the walking wounded, as he disposed of Steve Beaton 4-1 in the second round of the World Championship.
Whitlock hobbled into the tournament with a broken ankle and he looked in difficulty as he shuffled around the stage. But he was up against an opponent in Beaton who is booked in for a knee operation. And it was Whitlock who proved the more durable, overcoming a slow start to storm to victory.
Beaton made a bright start and raced into a two-leg lead in the first set. The highlight was a bullseye checkout in the first leg, but that was as good as it got for the Bronzed Adonis as his game fell apart after missing three shots at double for the opening set.
Whitlock ran through three legs on the spin to take the opening set and it settled the Australian's nerves. He powered through the second set in emphatic fashion.
Whitlock started missing darts in the third and Beaton took out 108 to take the set. Beaton had a shot at the fourth set, but hit single five when looking to set up a finish and it cost him dear - as Whitlock nailed double-top to move 3-1 ahead.
Beaton and Whitlock slugged it out in the fifth, but the former missed a shot at bull and then double-top - and Whitlock stepped in to clean out tops to progress.
"Steve did miss a few chances which could have changed the course of the match," Whitlock said. "My leg is still hurting a bit, but my throwing arm is absolutely fine, which is the important thing."
Whitlock will face Michael van Gerwen in round three following the Dutchman's 4-1 victory over Mervyn King. Van Gerwen was outscored in most departments - King averaged 98.91 to his opponent's 91.59 and hit nine 180s, but Van Gerwen was sharper on the doubles and it helped him into round three.
"I hit the right shots at the right times and that proved to be really important for me," Van Gerwen, said. "I feel confident at the moment. I have reached the third round of this tournament for the first time and I hope to go further."
Colin Lloyd took out a 167 checkout, with his opponent Scott Rand sat on double four, to take a pivotal fourth set on his way to a 4-1 win.