Gary Anderson squeaks past Chris Dobey in PDC World Championship classic
Gary Anderson was pushed all the way by Chris Dobey but the two-time champion eventually came through 4-3 in the fourth round of the PDC World Championship.
Hollywood raced into a two-set lead, finished the match with an average of 100 and hit more maximums than Anderson in a sensational performance on the sports biggest stage.
However, Anderson showed why he has won this event twice before, averaging over 106 in the seventh and deciding set to edge his way into the quarter-finals, averaging just over 98 for the match.
Dobeys 15 maximums equals the record for a last 16 game, but it is Anderson who moves into the last eight against either Dave Chisnall or Jamie Lewis.
Dobey made a cracking start to the game, throwing three maximums en route to winning the first set and then three more to claim the second and take a shock 2-0 lead.
It was a barrage of scoring and impressive finishing from Hollywood but Anderson knew how to respond and averaged a classy 104.8 to win the third set without losing a leg.
The fourth set was of an outrageously high standard as it went with throw for Anderson to win it 3-2, averaging over 101, while Dobey was over 105! The Flying Scotsman only needed three shots at double to win his three legs and level the game at 2-2.
The fifth was more of the same world class scoring, with the treble 20 being pulverised, especially Dobey who lost the first two legs but came out swinging to win the next two. He kicked off the deciding leg with a 177, followed by a 180 and took just 11 darts to finish it off and win the set. Dobey averaged 112.5 over those five legs.
Anderson needed to rally and he did just that, rattling off the first two legs of the sixth set in no time. Dobey pinched the next two but it was the two-time champion who cantered to the fifth leg and to level the game again at 3-3.
Hollywood had the throw in the final set and kicked it off with a 180, finishing it with a 148 to prove his nerves were not jangling too much. Gary levelled things up, but Dobey opened up the third leg with another six perfect darts, taking that leg in 12 darts, leaving Anderson throwing to stay in the tournament.
Anderson squeaked over the line on double six to make it 2-2 and take the final set into extra time. Dobey had the throw but missed chances to let Gary steal the leg from him on tops and left him throwing for the match.
The Scot missed doubles to allows Dobey a go at 92, but he missed a big number to allow Anderson back in to hit double six again for an incredible win.
The first match of the night was not a great spectacle as Benito van de Pas eventually stumbled over the line 4-2 against Toni Alcinas.
Van de Pas has not been great all season and continued to struggle for consistency, while Alcinas could not repeat the form he produced to beat Peter Wright in the second round.
Big Ben won the opening to sets, but surrendered that lead by losing the next two, failing to hit a maximum in 10 legs of darts. However, he improved sufficiently in the fifth set to regain the lead which included a chunky 149 checkout.
The sixth set was actually Van de Pas best of the game, in which he averaged 94.7 and checkout at 60%, breaking Alcinas in the fifth leg of that set and the final one of the match.
The big Dutchman now plays Brendan Dolan in the fourth round but you have to believe a match average of 85.6 will not be enough in the last 16 as it was on Thursday night.