Luke Littler recovered from a shaky start to power into the quarter-finals of the Bahrain Masters with some brilliant finishing.
Littler took the World Championships by storm over Christmas, the 16-year-old becoming front and back page news as he reached the final at Alexandra Palace.
Despite losing to Luke Humphries, Littler’s performances saw him fast-tracked to the top table of the sport and that included a place in the World Series event in Bahrain, where he faced Hong Kong’s Man Lok Leung.
Littler looked certain to take the opening leg after his first 180 left him needing 84, but he amazingly missed seven darts at a double before Leung took out 107 to snatch the leg.
DEVASTATING FROM LITTLER 😳
No sign of rust from Luke Littler as he recovers from 2-0 down to beat Man Lok Leung and reach the Quarter-Finals in Bahrain.
His first World Series event is up and running ✅ pic.twitter.com/PlooIGZF5T
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) January 18, 2024
Leung also finished 83 on the bullseye to lead 2-0 before Littler kicked into top gear, the teenager taking out 151 and 136 in successive legs as he reeled off five in a row, despite missing eight darts at a double in leg seven.
Littler also hit treble 20, double 20 and double 10 for a somewhat unorthodox 120 checkout to seal a 6-3 win and set up a quarter-final with Nathan Aspinall.
Aspinall had earlier edged past Lourence Ilagan of the Philippines 6-5, Ilagan missing two match darts at 5-4, while Gerwyn Price beat Reynaldo Rivera 6-4 and Rob Cross saw off Tomoya Goto 6-3.
Japan’s Haruki Muramatsu hit a 170 checkout in the fourth leg but eventually lost 6-5 to former world champion Peter Wright.
World champion Humphries and Michael van Gerwen enjoyed 6-0 wins over Abdulla Saeed and Hasan Haji respectively but defending champion Michael Smith only scraped through 6-5 against Paolo Nebrida after Nebrida missed two match darts at double 16.