Taylor survives first round as Dancing Dimi shines at Alexandra Palace
Darts legend Phil Taylor kicked off his final appearance at the PDC World Championship with a 3-1 first-round victory over Chris Dobey, on a night that also saw one of the sport's young stars steal some of the limelight.
Sixteen-time world champion Taylor will retire from the sport at the conclusion of this year's tournament and avoided a maiden first-round exit against a determined Dobey.
Taylor clinched the opening set against the throw before a comfortable second looked to have him on course for a routine victory.
However, an 11-darter from Dobey earned him the third set and a 104 check-out to break the throw for 2-1 in the fourth suggested the momentum had shifted.
HUGE!-- PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) December 15, 2017
Chris Dobey sinks a 104 checkout to break Taylor at a pivotal time. Can he level this match? pic.twitter.com/wShgGtByw4
But the 27-year-old missed two shots at double 16 for what would have been the equalising set, with Taylor - needing the same finish - stepping up to show him how it should be done and sealing his place in the second round.
Earlier in the evening, world youth champion Dimitri van den Bergh put in a superb performance to defeat former BDO champion Stephen Bunting 3-1.
Van den Bergh was a picture of confidence as he danced onto the stage at Alexandra Palace, and the Belgian backed it up by moving into a 2-0 lead.
Nerves were understandably evident as the 23-year-old edged towards the finish line, and Bunting pounced to reduce the deficit by taking the third set.
But a woeful start to the fifth leg of the fourth set opened the door for Van den Bergh to seal his progression, eventually clinching the win with his second attempt at a double three.
Van den Bergh's average of 104.17 was the highest by a Belgian player at the PDC World Championship and the fifth highest ever seen in the first round of the competition.
The final match of the night saw Robert Cross beat Seigo Asada 3-0.