Benito van de Pas and Mensur Suljovic shocked James Wade and Michael Smith to reach the quarter-finals of the Cash Converters Players Championship Finals, while Adrian Lewis and Dave Chisnall also progressed on Saturday afternoon at Butlins, Minehead.
van de Pas reached his first PDC major quarter-final after a stunning display to defeat Wade in which he averaged over 105.
The most impressive aspect of the Dutchman’s performance was his ruthless finishing as eight checkouts of between 72 and 100 proved the key to a dominant victory.
Van de Pas started sensationally, winning the first four legs with checkouts of 72, 79, 72 and 96 to pile the pressure on number four seed Wade.
‘The Machine’ responded by taking out 102 but van de Pas continued his relentless finishing as added 85, 90 and 100 to his incredible collection of combination checkouts as he moved 7-1 in front.
The Dutch youngster then pinned double ten and Wade replied in kind before van de Pas landed double top for his fifth break of throw, moving him within one leg of victory.
Wade kicked off the next leg with back-to-back 180s as he got a third leg on the scoresheet but it proved to be his last as two scores of 177 and a clinical 90 finish completed a landmark victory for ‘Big Ben’.
“That was my best game ever on television,” said van de Pas, who will face Gary Anderson or Daryl Gurney in the last eight.
“My floor game is finally coming to the big stage now and it’s a great win for me. I took nearly all of my chances and that is what you need to do.
“Hopefully I can continue to play like this and who knows what can happen.”
Number two seed Smith was also dumped out of the tournament as Suljovic reached his fourth major quarter-final of 2015 with a 10-3 success.
Last month’s World Grand Prix semi-finalist Suljovic twice won five consecutive legs to see off a below-par Smith in the opening game of round two.
Smith was punished for missing doubles in three of the first five legs as Suljovic raced into a 5-0 lead, taking out a 96 finish in the process.
The Austrian ace then missed a dart to win each of the next three legs with Smith capitalising to move within two of his opponent.
A scrappy end to the ninth leg saw Suljovic eventually land double four after the pair both missed a string of shots at doubles.
He then pinned his favourite double fourteen to break and open up a four-leg lead before moving 8-3 ahead by taking out 64 despite miscounting and busting his score in the previous visit to the board.
Suljovic then finished the job in style, brilliantly finishing 137 to move within a leg of victory, which he completed with a ten-darter after missing double 18 for a perfect leg.
Adrian Lewis booked his place in the quarter-finals with a 10-3 triumph against Alan Norris thanks to five 180s and a 99.84 average.
The world number five pegged double nine to break his opponent’s throw in the opening leg before pegging double five to double his advantage.
Norris pulled a leg back before Lewis produced a fabulous 121 finish on the bull and he won the following leg on double 15 to lead 4-1.
Norris missed double 15 for a 150 checkout, allowing Lewis to bed tops to move four legs clear.
The pair both kicked off the seventh leg with maximums, with Norris cleaning up 46 but he was unable to find a break of throw to leave Lewis 7-3 up at the second interval.
The two-time World Champion then took out 96 and 81 to complete back-to-back 11 dart-legs, hitting three 180s on the way.
A fifth maximum of the match for Lewis helped him wrap up the win as he landed double top to move into the last eight.
“I think we both started to kick in towards the end of the match,” said Lewis, who will face either Peter Wright or Simon Whitlock in round two.
“I’ve settled into the tournament now and I can rest and prepare for tomorrow. I know I’ll be playing a good player next but there is a lot more to come from me.”
Chisnall came out on top in the closest contest of the afternoon as he saw off Jamie Lewis in a high quality encounter.
The pair shared 13 180s as Chisnall moved into the last eight for the first time on the Butlins, Minehead stage.
A 180 helped Lewis take the opening leg but another in the second leg couldn’t stop Chisnall levelling.
The Welsh youngster’s third maximum was also in vain as Chisnall took out 68 to break but Lewis responded magnificently with consecutive finishes of 113 and 142, which he set up with yet another 180 – his fourth in the first five legs.
The pair exchanged maximums at the beginning of the sixth leg which Chisnall won with a spectacular 164 checkout.
The 2015 Betway Premier League semi-finalist edged ahead by pinning double five but Lewis broke back immediately by taking out 58.
The next two legs went with the throw to leave the pair tied at five legs apiece before Lewis finished 98.
Chisnall hit double 16 to restore parity once again but Lewis took out 70 and then landed double eight to break and move into an 8-6 lead.
Chisnall then took the next three legs to leave himself throwing for the match and when Lewis missed three darts to force a decider, the number eight seed took out 76 to complete the win.
Saturday evening sees the completion of the second round as Ian White takes on Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright faces Simon Whitlock, Daryl Gurney meets Gary Anderson and Michael van Gerwen plays Vincent van der Voort.
Michael Smith 3-10 Mensur Suljovic
Adrian Lewis 10-3 Alan Norris
James Wade 3-10 Benito van de Pas
Dave Chisnall 10-8 Jamie Lewis