After the drama of the PDC World Darts Championship finalyesterday, it has been the turn of the BDO’s equivalent competition to re-takecentre 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 PeterSajwani of Sweden, who had to qualify through the preliminary round.

Coming into the match with an infection, that permittedhim special dispensation to leave the stage when required should the needarise, 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 itwas again, as the Swedish underdog raised his performance under the televisionlights to achieve an unexpected 3-1 set win.

There was even the possibility that the eventual winnermight 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 outstrongly with a three-dart average around 110 in the early exchanges. Sajwanigathered himself, though, and started to improve his scoring, realising that itwould take more than his prelims’ level to have an impression on his opponent. AsWilson 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 andthen taking set three to move into a strong position in the tie.

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

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