PHIL TAYLOR kicked off the New Tropicana World Series of Darts Festival with victory in the World Cricket Championship, coming from 2-0 down to defeat Mark Walsh in the final.

The event, held in the cricket format of darts, was the first of five to be held at Las Vegas’ Tropicana Hotel from June 26-30, with $200,000 prize money on offer for over 150 players from around the world.

World number one Taylor showed his class to take the World Cricket Championship title, only dropping four legs throughout the Saturday’s event.

He was a 3-0 winner against Howard Meyers, Andy Fordham and Kirk Shepherd in his opening three games, before defeating former World Champions Richie Burnett and Steve Beaton 3-1 to reach the semi-finals.

There, he defeated Mark Dudbridge 3-0 to move into the decider, where he faced Walsh.

Hertfordshire ace Walsh dominated the opening two legs of the final to take a 2-0 lead, before Taylor edged a high-quality third and then levelled in a tight fourth leg.

The deciding leg saw Taylor take control of the 20 bed immediately, but Walsh hit back to close the 19, 18, 17 and 15 beds – only for Taylor to hit back and seal victory with two bullseyes.

“I’m really happy to win this because it’s a tough format,” said Taylor. “The cricket format really makes you think and it’s a great leveller.

“It was a very challenging day and Mark played really well in the final, so to come back from behind and win it is satisfying for me.”

Walsh had defeated top American Darin Young 3-1 in the semi-finals, as well as knocking out Ronnie Baxter, an experienced cricket player, in the quarters.

Before that, he dropped only five legs in his opening wins over Nick Fullwell, Adrian Lewis, Vinceint van der Voort and Andy Hamilton.

Young came through games against Canadian trio John Part, Gerry Convery and Bob Sinnaeve, and edged through five-leg clashes with Matt Clark and Steve Brown in reaching the last four.

Dudbridge showed some strong form in progressing to the last four, losing only three legs in his victories over Nick Rivera, Ross Snook, Ian White, Chris Thompson and Co Stompe before meeting Taylor.

Steve Brown followed up last weekend’s Players Championship semi-final in Holland by reaching the last eight, while Canada’s Shawn Brenneman was amongst the last 16 losers.

Sunday sees the PDC US Open take place as the first of three successive days of Players Championship action, before the New Tropicana World Series of Darts Festival concludes on Wednesday with the North American Darts Championship.

World Cricket Championship
Preliminary Round
Dave Ladley 3-0 Wayne Smith
Ronnie Baxter 3-0 Roger Carter
Steve Maish 3-0 Dave Honey
Roland Scholten 3-0 George Timpone
Steve Grubb 3-1 Bill Davis
Arron Monk 3-2 Andy Relf
Larry Butler 3-0 Mark Nielsen
Andrew Penney 3-1 Greg Lewis
Ryan vander Wiet 3-2 John Kuczynski
Bob Sinnaeve 3-0 Martin Hulme
Denis Ovens 3-1 Jim Widmayer
Terry Jenkins 3-0 Dan Lauby II
Jeff Noble 3-0 David Fatum
Ian White 3-0 Sean Smyth
Colin Osborne 3-0 Robert Race
Shawn Brenneman 3-1 Stephen Panuncialman
Robert Heckman 3-2 Mark Webster
Colin Lloyd 3-1 Robert Thornton
Andy Fordham 3-1 Dave Ahmet
Kevin McDine 3-2 Nigel Heydon
Par Riihonen 3-1 Steve Barlock
Joe Custer 3-2 Dan Zimmerman

First Round
Nico Depaynos 3-0 Damien McKenna
Jim Newman 3-1 David Flowers
Peter Manley 3-0 Richard Hammond Jnr
Ronnie Baxter 3-0 Dave Ladley
Adrian Gray 3-0 Bobby Peters
Stuart Brown 3-0 Shintaro Hirai
Barrie Bates 3-2 Andrew Bennett
Steve Maish 3-0 Roland Scholten
Ray Carver 3-1 Sean Downs
James Wade 3-0 Drazen Severin
Andy Hamilton 3-1 Steve Hine
Steve Grubb 3-0 Donny Joe
Adrian Lewis 3-2 Nick Fullwell
Mark Walsh 3-2 Scott Kirchner
Joe Cullen 3-1 Colin Monk
Vincent van der Voort 3-2 Arron Monk
Wes Newton 3-0 Joseph Swick
Alex Roy 3-2 Akihiro Nagakawa
Peter Wright 3-0 Steve Evans
Larry Butler 3-2 Andrew Penney
Steve Brown 3-1 Martyn Turner
Jamie Caven 3-2 Jelle Klaasen
Tony Eccles 3-0 Peter Schaumann
Ryan vander Wiet 3-2 Gary Mawson
Gerry Convert 3-0 Josh Daynes
Darin Young 3-1 John Part
Aodhagan O’Neill 3-0 Alvin Martin
Bob Sinnaeve 3-0 Daz Mawer
Matt Clark 3-1 Don CamposJustin Pipe 3-0 Paul DiCecca
Danny Wood 3-1 Eddie Lawrence
Denis Ovens 3-0 William O’Connor
Chris Loudon 3-0 Edwin Martin
Chris Thompson 3-0 Al Moskwyn
Frank Hernandez 3-0 Jim McKevitt
Jeff Noble 3-2 Terry Jenkins
Ross Snook 3-1 Ian McFarlane
Mark Dudbridge 3-0 Nick Rivera
Darren Johnson 3-1 Jason Roker
Ian White 3-2 Colin Osborne
Alan Tabern 3-0 David Kendall
Mark Hylton 3-2 Dennis Smith
Mick McGowan 3-1 Hiromasa Mochizuki
Shawn Brenneman 3-0 Robert Heckman
Co Stompe 3-0 Mark Blazevich
Isen Veljic 3-1 Clint Clarkson
Chris White 3-0 Connley Litton
Colin Lloyd 3-2 Gary Anderson
Kirk Shepherd 3-1 Tony Randell
Dan Olson 3-0 Dan Lauby
Phil Taylor 3-0 Howard Meyers
Andy Fordham 3-2 Thomas Jackowski
Rick Davis 3-0 Scott Henning
Richie Burnett 3-2 Jayson Barlow
Scott Rand 3-2 Dave Switzer
Kevin McDine 3-1 Brendan Dolan
Dieter Schutsch 3-1 Paul Lim
Gregory Coburn 3-2 Brian Jackson Andy Jenkins 3-2 Scott Burnett
Simon Whitlock 3-1 Par R! iihonen< br>Kevin Painter 3-1 Stacy Bromberg
Steve Beaton 3-0 Doug Mead
Ken MacNeil 3-0 Nick Holmes
Joe Custer 3-0 Masahiko Sano

Second Round
Nico Depaynos 3-1 Jim Newman
Ronnie Baxter 3-0 Peter Manley
Adrian Gray 3-1 Stuart Brown
Barrie Bates 3-0 Steve Maish
James Wade 3-2 Ray Carver
Andy Hamilton 3-0 Steve Grubb
Mark Walsh 3-1 Adrian Lewis
Vincent van der Voort 3-0 Joe Cullen
Wes Newton 3-2 Alex Roy
Larry Butler 3-1 Peter Wright
Steve Brown 3-2 Jamie Caven
Tony Eccles 3-0 Ryan vander Wiet
Darin Young 3-1 Gerry Convery
Bob Sinnaeve 3-0 Aodhagan O’Neill
Matt Clark 3-1 Justin Pipe
Denis Ovens 3-0 Danny Wood
Chris Thompson 3-1 Chris Loudon
Frank Hernandez 3-2 Jeff Noble
Mark Dudbridge 3-1 Ross Snook
Ian White 3-0 Darren Johnson
Alan Tabern 3-0 Mark Hylton
Shawn Brenneman 3-0 Mick McGowan
Co Stompe 3-1 Isen Veljic
Colin Lloyd 3-1 Chris White
Kirk Shepherd 3-2 Dan Olson
Phil Taylor 3-0 Andy Fordham
Richie Burnett 3-0 Rick Davis
Kevin McDine 3-2 Scott Rand
Dieter Schutsch 3-0 Gregory Coburn
Andy Jenkins 3-2! Simon Whitlock
Steve Beaton 3-2 Kevin Painter
Ken MacNeil 3-0 Joe Custer
Losers £50

Third Round
Ronnie Baxter 3-0 Nico Depaynos
Barrie Bates 3-1 Adrian Gray
Andy Hamilton 3-1 James Wade
Mark Walsh 3-0 Vincent van der Voort
Wes Newton 3-1 Larry Butler
Steve Brown 3-2 Tony Eccles
Darin Young 3-1 Bob Sinnaeve
Matt Clark 3-0 Denis Ovens
Chris Thompson 3-1 Frank Hernandez
Mark Dudbridge 3-0 Ian White
Shawn Brenneman 3-1 Alan Tabern
Co Stompe 3-0 Colin Lloyd
Phil Taylor 3-0 Kirk Shepherd
Richie Burnett 3-0 Kevin McDine
Andy Jenkins 3-0 Dieter Schutsch
Steve Beaton 3-0 Ken MacNeil
Losers £125

Fourth Round
Ronnie Baxter 3-0 Barrie Bates
Mark Walsh 3-2 Andy Hamilton
Steve Brown 3-0 Wes Newton
Darin Young 3-2 Matt Clark
Mark Dudbridge 3-1 Chris Thompson
Co Stompe 3-1 Shawn Brenneman
Phil Taylor 3-1 Richie Burnett
Steve Beaton 3-2 Andy Jenkins
Losers £225

Mark Walsh 3-1 Ronnie Baxter
Darin Young 3-2 Steve Brown
Mark Dudbridge 3-1 Co Stompe
Phil Taylor 3-1 Steve Beaton
Losers £450

Mark Walsh 3-1 Darin Young
Phil Taylor 3-0 Mark Dudbridge
Losers £900

Phil Taylor 3-2 Mark Walsh
Winner £4,000
Runner-Up £2,000

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