Michael Smith proved his quality in the opening night of the Paddy Power World Darts Championship as he triumphed against Kevin Doets.

Smith was pushed all the way by the Dutchman, who was up to two sets to one, one set short of winning the game.

Doets had convincingly beaten Stowe Buntz earlier in the night to progress to round 2, where he produced a great performance to win all three sets against the American.

St Helens man Smith, who was automatically placed into round 2, started the game strongly, winning the first three legs to one, despite having a lower 3-dart average than Doets.

Doets went on to win the next two sets of the game, before “Bully boy” showed his quality in the final two sets.

Both players provided great performances, with Smith averaging 100.09 per three darts, compared to Doets’s 99.4.

Michael Smith – “I am here to pay darts”

Smith was not concerned with recent criticisms from the media.

He said: “I am here to play darts and the only target I’m looking at is the double 20 and the triple 20”.

Smith added: “Social media, you guys, papers, TV, you guys can do that (target Smith) all you want.”

Smith is now due to return to action on the 27th of December to play the third round of the Championships.

The Rest of the Action:

Doets won the opening game of the competition against Buntz, winning all three sets.

Doets produced a match average of 91.97 and completed 9 out of his 15 double attempts.

The following game saw Cameron Menzies of Scotland take on Rusty-Jay Rodriguez. The Scotsman produced a clinical performance, winning three sets to nil.

Australian Simon Whitlock had to come from behind to defeat Paolo Nebrida.

It was two sets apiece going into the final set, which saw Scotsman show his class against Nebrida.