The inaugural staging of the PDC World Series of Darts event saw six of the eight Dutch representatives prevail at the Ziggo Dome, with UK Open champion Danny Noppert defeating Michael van Gerwen in the evening's marquee match
Saturday 25 June 2022 00:54, UK
Danny Noppert dumped out Michael van Gerwen on an incredible opening night at the Dutch Darts Masters, as six home stars progressed in Amsterdam on Friday.
Van Gerwen, making his first appearance since undergoing wrist surgery last week, fell behind following an extraordinary start, which saw both players averaging over 110 after five legs.
Despite leaving a double after nine darts, Van Gerwen saw Noppert open his account with an 11-dart hold, but the Premier League champion replied with a wonderful 141 finish to level.
Noppert fired back with a classy 120 checkout, and after crashing in back-to-back 180s to hold in leg five, the World Cup semi-finalist extended his lead to 4-2 with a 90 checkout on the bull.
Van Gerwen restored parity at four apiece with consecutive 72 and 62 finishes, but Noppert stopped the rot via double 12, before following up his sixth 180 with a 14-darter to seal the deal.
"It was a crazy game. The trebles and finishes were going in early on," said the 31-year-old, who will take on his compatriot Vincent van der Voort in the quarter-finals.
"I have so much respect for Michael. He is only just returning from injury, but he played really well.
"I just tried to focus on my own game. Everything is possible if you believe in yourself, and I believe in myself. This was a great start."
An out-of-sorts Fallon Sherrock was routed 6-1 as Dutchman Maik Kuivenhoven breezed past 'The Queen of the Palace'.
Sherrock now faces a race against time to return back to the UK for Saturday's PDC Women's Series double-header at the Barnsley Metrodome.
Earlier in the night, Van der Voort raised the roof by edging out world number two Gerwyn Price in a dramatic 11-leg tussle.
World Champion Peter Wright was another big-name casualty in Amsterdam, as the Scot succumbed to Dirk van Duijvenbode in an entertaining affair.
Van Duijvenbode now faces Martijn Kleermaker, who continued the remarkable run for the Dutch qualifiers by firing in six maximums to set up a 6-4 win over top seed Michael Smith.
Elsewhere, Jermaine Wattimena produced a superb display of finishing to stun World Series of Darts Finals champion Jonny Clayton in a deciding leg.
Nordic Darts Masters winner Dimitri Van den Bergh began his bid for back-to-back World Series titles with a resounding 6-2 success against Ron Meulenkamp.
Meanwhile, fourth seed James Wade was the other PDC representative to advance, easing through to the last eight with a 6-2 victory over former World Matchplay semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan.
Saturday's second day of action will see the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final played in one blockbuster evening session, as the remaining eight players battle it out for the £20,000 top prize.
2022 Dutch Darts Masters
Friday June 24
Jermaine Wattimena 6-5 Jonny Clayton
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-1 Fallon Sherrock
James Wade 6-2 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Vincent van der Voort 6-5 Gerwyn Price
Martijn Kleermaker 6-4 Michael Smith
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-2 Ron Meulenkamp
Danny Noppert 6-4 Michael van Gerwen
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3 Peter Wright
Saturday June 25 (1900 local time)
Martijn Kleermaker v Dirk van Duijvenbode
James Wade v Maik Kuivenhoven
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Jermaine Wattimena
Danny Noppert v Vincent Van der Voort
Best of 11 legs
Kleermaker/Van Duijvenbode v Wade/Kuivenhoven
Van den Bergh/Wattimena v Noppert/Van der Voort
Best of 13 legs
Kleermaker/Van Duijvenbode/Wade/Kuivenhoven v Van den Bergh/Wattimena/Noppert/Van der Voort
Best of 15 legs