Gary Anderson became the first seed to book his place in the second round of the World Matchplay after edging past Christian Kist 10-7 tonight.
The world number two hit 10 180s and averaged 101.95 as he started his latest bid for a maiden title at the Winter Gardens with a hard-fought first round victory against the debutant.
In one of three last 32 ties pitting former world champions against each other in Blackpool this year, 2015 and 2016 PDC world champion Anderson and 2012 BDO winner Kist hit 19 180s between them in an intriguing encounter.
After seeing Michael Smith and James Wade both suffer surprise defeats earlier in the evening, Kist showed early signs that another seed could be falling on the opening night as he hit tops tops to check out 100 in the first leg.
However, the second seed had other ideas by winning the next four legs to lead 4-1 at the first break, before the Scot took two of the next three to move further ahead at 6-2.
Kist fought back with consecutive legs, the latter of which included back-to-back 180s, to cut Anderson’s lead to 6-4 at the second break.
Seven of the contest’s first nine legs had gone against the throw, with the trend continuing when the two players returned to stage.
Another maximum for Kist, who hit nine in total, saw him break the two-time world champion to reduce his arrears to one leg.
Anderson responded with two maximums on his way to an 11-darter to break for a 7-5 lead, before Kist broke in 12 darts in the 13th leg to cut the gap to one again.
An 11th break of throw followed in the next leg as Anderson moved two legs clear again at 8-6, before the Scot took out finishes of 76 and 88, in 14 and 15-dart legs, to complete a 10-7 win.
“It was a good game and you’re always going to get that against Christian,” Anderson said.
“He’s a steady player and once he starts finding his range and his speed he sticks in but I pinched it.
“It’s been hard, we’ve been on the road a bit and I was lucky at the end.”
Anderson (101.95): 100+ 20, 140+ 9; 180s 10, Highest checkout 89, Checkout percentage 10/29 34.48% Kist (99.96): 100+ 16, 140+ 12, 180s 9, Highest checkout 100, Checkout percentage 7/16 43.75%