It wasn’t to be for Jeffrey de Zwaan on the opening night at the World Championship.

But the Team Unicorn ace gave the World Champion a real scare at the Alexandra Palace.

Rob Cross won their thrilling 2nd Round encounter by three sets to one on Thursday night. But that only tells half the story.

De Zwaan’s 106 average was the second highest losing average in World Championship history. The young Dutchman forcing Cross to produce his best darts in many months.

De Zwaan raced through the opening set in superb style winning it in three straight legs. Cross hit back to win a dramatic second set with a 96 finish in a deciding leg.

The World Champ then nailed 121 on the bull to claim the third set. De Zwaan had done very little wrong.

It was the same story in the fourth set but Cross held firm to deny De Zwaan another famous TV win.

De Zwaan breezed past India’s Nitin Kumar in the opening match of the tournament. He hit five 180s on his way to a 3-0 victory.

Also on the opening night Ladies World Champion Lisa Ashton put up a terrific display before losing 3-1 to Jan Dekker.

Thursday 1st Round results:

Jeffrey de Zwaan 3-0 Nitin Kumar
Martin Schindler 2-3 Cody Harris
Jan Dekker 3-1 Lisa Ashton

2nd Round:

Rob Cross 3-1 Jeffrey de Zwaan

By STUART PYKE in London