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Anderson digs in to beat Bowles

ESPN staff
December 21, 2012 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »
Andy Hamilton gestures to the crowd © PA Photos
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Gary Anderson survived an almighty scare to beat John Bowles 4-3 in the second round of the World Championship.

Anderson scored heavily throughout the match, but he struggled on the doubles and Bowles had chances to claim victory. On three occasions he missed a double for the match and it enabled Anderson to fall over the line.

There was no sign of the drama that was to follow as Anderson made a solid start to take the opening set.

Bowles, a former rugby player, kept his cool and hit back to take the second set. Anderson took the third despite struggling with doubles and that cost him the fourth as he missed a string of shots at the set.

Bowles took out 120 to take the fifth leg of the fifth set to move ahead. Legs were traded in the sixth set, but when it mattered most Anderson found his form and a brilliant 11-dart leg enabled him to force a deciding set.

Bowles took the opening leg and he was handed the second when Anderson missed four darts at a double - the final being a weak shot at double one.

Anderson kept himself alive by nicking the third leg, after Bowles missed a shot at double top for the match.

The fourth leg was a carbon copy of the third, with Bowles missing a shot at tops for the match and Anderson took out double four to take the contest the distance.

Having missed two shots at double top for the match, Bowles took it out to move 3-2 ahead in the decider. A third shot at double top for the match went begging in the sixth, which opened the door for Anderson to hit double five to level.

The next two legs were traded before Anderson came up with a 180 and a 140 to break for a 5-4 lead. And with the match one leg from sudden-death, Anderson found both his scoring boots and finishing skills as he cleaned out double four to book his place in the third round.

Last year's runner-up Andy Hamilton was made to work hard to see off Ritchie Burnett and book his place in the third round.

The first four sets went to deciding legs, as Hamilton battled back from a set down to win 4-1.

The Hammer was off target with his finishing in the first set, he missed four darts to take it, and Burnett stepped in to take out double four and claim the opening set.

Burnett had chances to bag the second set, but passed them up and Hamilton levelled the match.

Hamilton was under pressure in the final leg of the third set, but a 174 turned the tables and one dart later he took out double 12 to move ahead.

Burnett forced a deciding leg in the fourth, but Hamilton held his nerve to secure a cushion and it broke the Welshman's spirit as he closed out the set 3-0.

"It feels great," Hamilton told Sky Sports after becoming the first man into the third round. "It was a great game and I finished well. I enjoyed it."

Hamilton is flying under the radar at the Alexandra Palace and he added: "Nobody mentions me, I am the underdog, but I am ready."

Dave Chisnall was an impressive 4-1 winner over Daryl Gurney, but the beaten Northern Irishman wowed the crowd with a brilliant no-look 180 during the third set. He set the shot up with two treble 20s and at the point of release on the third dart he turned to the crowd as the arrow sailed in.

More to follow

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