Van Gerwen cruises after Bunting bows out

Title favourite Michael van Gerwen laid down a marker in his opening match at the PDC World Darts Championship, averaging 103.34 as he breezed to a straight-sets win over Kim Viljanen.

The winner of an astonishing 25 titles in 2016, world number one Van Gerwen started with a 180 on Saturday evening and went on to drop just one leg against an opponent who had earlier come through a preliminary-round clash.

Van Gerwen finished with five maximums in all, but suggested he still had plenty of room for improvement as he targets a second world title.

"I think I played ok for a first game. I played good, but I didn't play phenomenal. I expected, of course, to win this first game," the Dutchman told Sky Sports.

Sixteenth seed Stephen Bunting fell at the first hurdle prior to Van Gerwen's triumph, the 2014 BDO world champion losing 3-2 to Darren Webster, while Cristo Reyes got the better of Dimitri van den Bergh.

Saturday's afternoon session brought wins for Terry Jenkins, Benito van de Pas and Andrew Gilding, the latter prevailing in sudden-death after his opponent, 31st seed John Henderson, had missed a dart at bull to win the match.

Gilding will now face defending champion Gary Anderson in round two.

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