Luke Littler made his own calling card yesterday at Ally Pally when he became the youngest player ever to win a World Cup match. He said he celebrated this with a Coke and a kebab, but that turned out to be too much for him on Thursday evening.
Because a day after his misadventure against Dutchman Christian Kist in the first round, the 16-year-old darts phenom had to work again. In the second round, there was a duel with the experienced Englishman Andrew Gilding, No. 20 in the world.
He proved earlier this year that Gelding can be a tough customer by beating Michael van Gerwen in the final of the UK Open.
But the confident Littler was unmoved, neither by his opponent nor by the circumstances in the already turbulent Alexandra Palace.
Littler continued his momentum from yesterday and quickly had Gelding’s back against the wall with a two-set finish. But in the third set things suddenly fell apart for the young Englishman, whose average dropped to 88. Gelding put himself on the scoreboard.
In a horrific fourth set with numerous errors on both sides, it was Littler who eventually took the lead once again. With 35 points – 15 and double 10 – he secured a place in the third round of the World Championship.
The young Englishman will compete against Canadian Matt Campbell, world No. 57. He had caused a stir earlier in the World Cup by excluding player No. 13, James Wade, from the tournament.
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