PDC World Darts Championship: Wins for Gary Anderson, Kevin Painter and Simon Whitlock
Birthday boy Gary Anderson dispatched Brendan Dolan 4-1 to reach the third round of the PDC World Darts Championship.
By Razwan Mirza - Tweet me: @RazMirza
Last Updated: 22/12/13 4:43pm
'The Flying Scotsman' raced through the opening three sets, but missed the chance to wrap up the match after missing four darts at the double.
That allowed the Northern Irishman to nip in and nail double 16 to secure the fourth set, even to his own surprise.
Anderson - runner-up to Adrian Lewis in 2011 - sealed victory at the eighth time of asking, hitting double eight.
After averaging 97.97 in the contest and 115 in the final set, former Premier League champion Anderson, 43 today, told Sky Sports: "Brendan never played his floor game today and I've always struggled against him (in the past) so I'll take that as a birthday present.
"The 180s have disappeared, but hopefully they will come back soon. I knew my scoring was just about there (in the fifth set) and my doubles haven't been so bad. Double eight was a godsend.
He will next play the winner of the match between tournament favourite Michael van Gerwen and Kevin McDine for a place in the last eight.
Artist in form
World No 21 and 2004 finalist Kevin 'The Artist' Painter brushed aside the challenge of Paul Nicholson 4-0 to reach the last 16.
The Rugby resident, who averaged 98.59 in his opening round victory against Germany's Tomas Seyler, was not at his best, but still nailed 116 to seal a dreary opening set.
'The Asset' Nicholson failed to hit the big numbers when it mattered and was just 23.81 per cent on the doubles while Painter was proving immaculate at the finishing line.
After winning the second set, Painter took out double 18 to win the third and double 10 to complete a comprehensive victory.
"I started off a bit nervy," admitted 13th-seeded Painter. "I'm quite pleased to get through that, even when I was three-nil up, I thought Paul can get into this.
"I'm playing well. Now I can settle down and look forward to having a good run."
The 46-year-old will next take on World No 4 Simon Whitlock for a place in the quarter-finals after the Australian caned Finland's Jarkko 'Smiley' Komula 4-0.
The 'The Wizard of Oz' averaged just 77 in a very slow opening set and just 95.30 overall, but still progressed without too many problems.
Whitlock, runner-up in 2010, hit another 180 before taking out a 68 finish to move two sets clear before following it up with a double 18 to post his third 13-darter in a row and move a set away from victory.
The 44-year-old from Brisbane finished the Finn thanks to double five and set up a mouthwatering clash against Painter next.
"It's good to have a slow start - the only way is up after that," Whitlock said after the match. "I felt really good up there. Once I got in front, I controlled the match. I played really well I thought."