The World Cup of Darts continues in Hamburg on Saturday, with England, Netherlands and Scotland all in second-round action.
The Barclaycard Arena will play host to a dramatic double session on day three, as the remaining 16 nations battle it out for a place in the quarter-finals.
In the second round, each match will begin with two best of seven legs Singles matches. If the scores are tied after the two matches, a best of seven legs Doubles contest will determine who progresses through to the last eight.
The bottom quarter of the draw was blown wide open following shock defeats for Wales and Northern Ireland and one of Singapore, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa will reach the semi-finals for the first time in World Cup history.
Devon Petersen inspired two-time quarter-finalists South Africa to a dramatic win over sixth seeds Northern Ireland and they will meet New Zealand in Saturday afternoon’s opener.
New Zealand breezed past debutants Lithuania 5-1 in their first-round tussle, with Cody Harris producing two ton-plus finishes en route to victory.
Japan and Singapore then collide in an all-Asian second-round affair, after both sides recorded narrow opening round wins on Thursday.
2018 quarter-finalists Japan edged out Gibraltar in the tournament’s curtain-raiser, courtesy of a nerveless 104 checkout from Seigo Asada in a dramatic decider.
Meanwhile, Singapore produced another World Cup upset to dump out third seeds Wales, as Paul Lim and Harith Lim look to repeat their run to the last eight from 2017.
Scotland continue their bid for a maiden World Cup of Darts title against Sweden in the third match of Saturday’s afternoon session.
The second seeds whitewashed Denmark 5-0 in round one with a 101.55 average and they’ll be looking to inflict a similar drubbing on another Scandinavian side.
Magnus Caris and Dennis Nilsson impressed in a convincing 5-1 win over Brazil on Thursday night, as former Lakeside semi-finalist Caris competes in his final tournament before retirement.
Hosts Germany then take on seventh seeds Belgium in one of the ties of the second round, with the winner set for a potential quarter-final clash against the Scots.
Both sides eased through to round two with comprehensive 5-1 wins against Hungary and Hong Kong respectively and they will sense a major opportunity in a wide open bottom half of the draw.
Germany are bidding to reach their third consecutive World Cup quarter-final and they’ll be relieved to be on the opposite side of the draw to the Netherlands, who have accounted for them in each of the last two years.
Belgium reached the semi-finals 12 months ago and Kim Huybrechts and Dimitri Van den Bergh will be hoping to lead their country to a second World Cup final in Hamburg.
Saturday Afternoon Order of Play
|South Africa||vs||New Zealand|
The evening session gets underway with fifth seeds Australia locking horns with Canada, who are without three-time world champion John Part for the first time in World Cup history.
Australian pair Simon Whitlock and Kyle Anderson survived a scare as they edged out Finland in a topsy-turvy decider on Friday, while Dawson Murschell and Jim Long averaged 97.56 to defeat Italy 5-3 in arguably the tie of the first round.
Eighth seeds Austria also survived a scare in their opener, as Mensur Suljovic and Zoran Lerchbacher fought back from 3-1 down to defeat Russia.
The two-time quarter-finalists take on USA for a place in the last eight, as Darin Young and debutant Chuck Puleo recorded a convincing 5-1 win over China in Friday’s curtain-raiser.
England and Netherlands then headline the closing stages of Saturday’s evening session in Hamburg, following their emphatic opening round wins over Philippines and Spain respectively.
Michael Smith and Rob Cross overcame a potential banana-skin to set up a showdown against Republic of Ireland duo William O’Connor and Steve Lennon, who thumped Greece in their first round tie.
Meanwhile, defending champions Netherlands whitewashed 2010 semi-finalists Spain in a matter of minutes on Friday, with debutant Jermaine Wattimena outshining World No 1 Michael van Gerwen.