After the drama of the PDC World Darts Championship final yesterday, it has been the turn of the BDO’s equivalent competition to re-take centre stage today. The first round action continued in the best of five sets’ matches with the number one seed and favourite James Wilson of England against Peter Sajwani of Sweden, who had to qualify through the preliminary round.

Coming into the match with an infection, that permitted him special dispensation to leave the stage when required should the need arise, Sajwani was not expected to cause the top seed undue trouble. However, the Lakeside has a knack of throwing out surprises from time to time and so it was again, as the Swedish underdog raised his performance under the television lights to achieve an unexpected 3-1 set win.

There was even the possibility that the eventual winner might not make it on to the stage at one time and during a one-sided first set, he may have wondered if he had made the right choice, as Wilson came out strongly with a three-dart average around 110 in the early exchanges. Sajwani gathered himself, though, and started to improve his scoring, realising that it would take more than his prelims’ level to have an impression on his opponent. As Wilson went off the boil and began to miss a number of doubles to win the legs, Sajwani began to accumulate winning legs for himself, levelling the match and then taking set three to move into a strong position in the tie.

There was to be no comeback for the ‘Jammy Dodger’ as Wilson succumbed at the first hurdle, his opponent finishing off in style with a 102 average in set four to take the match. Wilson will have been extremely disappointed to go out of the competition so early, especially to a man who recorded a match average only in the mid-80s, but it proved once again that there is no substitute for experience on the main stage as Sajwani had from the prelims. He will also look back on the telling statistic of as many as seventeen missed doubles during the match, which cost him dear at crucial stages.

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