James Wade apologises to Michael Smith after England World Cup scare

England suffered a big scare at the World Cup of Darts after being taken to a deciding doubles match by Latvia.

Michael Smith thrashed Nauris Gleglu 4-0 in the opening singles clash, but James Wade suffered a shock 4-3 defeat to Madars Razma, who fought back from 3-2 down to set up a tense showdown for a quarter-final spot. England won the first leg of the decider but Latvia kept them under pressure by levelling straight away, with Gleglu holding his nerve to hit double 10.

England stretched their advantage to 3-1 – one leg from victory – but Gleglu picked off another double to pull a leg back. However, the pre-tournament favourites ensured the match didn’t go to a deciding leg, with Smith hitting the match-clinching double.

Unlike after their first round victory over the Czech Republic, there were no exuberant celebrations on stage, more a feeling of relief after being given a real run for their money by one of the tournament minnows. Wade appeared to hold his hands up in apology to Smith and couldn’t hide his disappointment in his own performance.

“He [Smith] has been the absolute donz all tournament,” said Wade of his teammate. “I am gutted with how I played. I tried so hard, but I promise I will be better tomorrow,”

Smith said: “I’m proud to wear the shirt and England are through to the next round, so that’s all that matters.”

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England will meet the Scotland team of defending champions Peter Wright and John Henderson, who also needed a decisive doubles match to defeat Portugal.

World Cup of Darts remaining fixtures

Afternoon session – quarter-finals

Netherlands v Northern Ireland

Wales v Germany

Belgium v Australia

England v Scotland

Evening session – semi-finals

Wales/Germany v Netherlands/Northern Ireland

England/Scotland v Belgium/Australia

Final

England/Scotland/Belgium/Australia v Wales/Germany/Netherlands/Northern Ireland

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