Dave Chisnall moved safely through to round two of the William Hill World Championship with a victory over Rowby-John Rodriguez as the first round action reached its conclusion at Alexandra Palace on Thursday.
Number seven seed Chisnall saw off Austrian youngster Rodriguez in a thrilling encounter which went all the way to a deciding fifth set.
Chisnall, the runner-up in three televised events during 2016 including last month’s Players Championship Finals, produced a sensational final set with legs of 11, 15 and 11 darts and finishes of 90, 117 and 96 to claim victory.
The number seven seed, whose nine 180s was the joint most in the first round, now moves through to a last 32 clash with Chris Dobey.
“Rowby-John played well but I managed to find a bit more in the locker,” said Chisnall.
“I think I’m in with a chance this year because I’ve reached two big finals and it has always taken Michael van Gerwen to beat me. I knew it was going to be tough against Rowby and it was, but I’m really pleased with my performance.”