JAMIE LEWIS produced the performance of his career to knock out Peter Wright at the William Hill World Darts Championship on Wednesday, as Dutch rivals Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld set up a mouth-watering quarter-final tie at Alexandra Palace.
Youngster Lewis had to come through the PDPA Qualifier just to make it to Alexandra Palace, but it was the Welshman who played like a top seed as he averaged an amazing 107 to beat number two seed Wright 4-1 in a dream display.
The 26-year-old hit an incredible 13 180s and tremendous outshots of 125, 123 and 121 helped him to an overall checkout ratio of 54 percent as he continued what could be a breakout performance.
Lewis averaged 120 for two sets as he hit a purple patch rarely seen on the big stage at the World Championship to leave Wright trailing, despite the 2014 finalist averaging 103 in reply.
"I still can't quite believe it to be honest," said Lewis, who plays James Richardson in Thursday's third round tie. "I expected to give him a good game, I didn't really expect to beat him.
"I've been playing well the last couple of weeks and I thought if I can keep playing like that then I'll give him a good game but to win - I'm obviously over the moon with it."
Richardson will also be playing in the last 16 for the first time after he overcame former quarter-finalist Alan Norris 4-1 in another solid showing.
Darren Webster continued his dominance over Simon Whitlock as he knocked the Australian out of the tournament for the third time in four years.
Webster beat Whitlock 4-0 last year and although Whitlock this time managed to get a set on the board, it was still a comprehensive 4-1 victory for the Demolition Man.
"I'm here to win this," said Webster. "I'm not here to make numbers up, whereas before I used to say I'm here to give them a game now I'm here to win it all.
"I think if I can win three more matches then I'll be the number one English dart player so that's two down, three to go!"
Webster will tackle Spaniard Toni Alcinas in the last 16 after he defeated young German Kevin Munch 4-1 for the biggest win of his career.
With the second round concluding at Alexandra Palace, the opening two third round ties saw a pair of victories for Dutch superstars, competing in front of a handful of players from their national football team's squad.
Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen won their last 16 matches in contrasting styles as the 2007 champion eased beyond Vincent van der Voort 4-1 before the reigning champion was pushed all the way before beating Gerwyn Price 4-2.
Van der Voort had not dropped a set in the tournament before his match and started in style with a 156 checkout, but a set was all he could muster as Van Barneveld reeled off nine straight legs for victory.
"I didn't play my A-game and still averaged 101 so I'm pleased with that," said Van Barneveld. "A couple of times I gave away a few shots on doubles and he was there to punish me so I'm happy with the win of course.
"I was hitting tons but not too many 140s or 180s so I'm pleased with averaging 101. That's three matches and three 100 averages so I'm happy with that."
Van Gerwen, meanwhile, survived a huge scare against Price, with the Welshman coming from 2-0 down to level before missing four darts to go 3-2 in front as the the two-time World Champion capitalised.
Van Gerwen averaged just over 100, hit 12 180s and a maximum 170 checkout but only won the same amount of legs (13) as Price in what he deemed a below-par performance.
"I didn't play well today, simple," said Van Gerwen. "My game wasn't 100 percent and I made it tough for myself but all credit to him - he kept fighting he never gives up.
"I have to play better against Raymond. This was probably 85 percent of how I can play, I'm sure I can play better against Raymond."
Thursday's action sees the third round conclude with the remaining six matches split across two session at Alexandra Palace.
The afternoon session sees Alcinas face Webster before number five seed Mensur Suljovic takes on World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh and European Championship finalist Rob Cross plays John Henderson.
Lewis and Richardson open the evening session before 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor continues his final tournament before retirement as he takes on Keegan Brown, and two-time World Champion Gary Anderson plays Steve West.
William Hill World Darts Championship
Wednesday December 27
Simon Whitlock 1-4 Darren Webster
Alan Norris 1-4 James Richardson
Kevin Munch 1-4 Toni Alcinas
Peter Wright 1-4 Jamie Lewis
Vincent van der Voort 1-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen 4-2 Gerwyn Price
Thursday December 28
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)
Toni Alcinas v Darren Webster
Mensur Suljovic v Dimitri Van den Bergh
John Henderson v Rob Cross
Evening Session (7pm)
Jamie Lewis v James Richardson
Phil Taylor v Keegan Brown
Gary Anderson v Steve West