Ben Robb is the toast of Kiwi darts after his 6-4 win over Simon Whitlock in the New Zealand Masters at Hamilton's Claudelands Arena.

Robb, who lost 6-5 to Whitlock last year, became just the second Kiwi to win a game in the tournament's five-year history.

New Zealand No 1 Cody Harris threatened an upset over Raymond van Barneveld, missing a match dart at bullseye before losing 6-5 to the five-time world champion.

Fellow Kiwi Craig Caldwell also took his match the distance, losing 6-5 to James Wade after leading 5-3. World No 1 Michael van Gerwen narrowly avoided an early exit, beating Kyle Anderson 6-5 but only after the Australian missed four match darts.

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The night's four other games were comfortably taken out by the favourites: Gary Anderson beat Haupai Puha 6-3, Rob Cross and Daryl Gurney won 6-2 against Warren Parry and David Platt respectively, and Peter Wright saw off Damon Heta 6-1.