Luke Littler made quick work of local qualifier Zoran Lerchbacher on the first day of action at the Austrian Darts Open in Graz a day after beating Rob Cross to record his third nightly win of the Premier League Darts season in Liverpool.

The 17-year-old Premier League leader wrapped up the first two legs before losing his throw and allowing his Austrian opponent – 34 years ‘the Nuke’’s senior – to claw a leg back, but took control and claimed the final three legs to book his ticket to round two, where he faces much stiffer competition in second-seed Damon Heta.

Gerwyn Price was among the top 16 seeds who were given a bye into the second round, but was forced to withdraw on Friday due to a trapped nerve in his back.

The Welshman was directly replaced by reserve Daniel Klose, who will face Andrew Gilding on Saturday after his 6-2 win over the host nation’s Dominik Haberl for a first European Tour victory of the year.

Reigning champion Jonny Clayton will take on Chris Dobey after “Hollywood” comfortably beat Graham Hall 6-2, posting a 106.5 average.

Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan set up a showdown with top seed Dave Chisnall after securing a 6-3 win over host nation qualifier Hannes Schnier, while compatriot Daryl Gurney will take on fourth seed Cross after beating Martin Lukeman 6-3 to open the evening session.

International Darts Open champion Martin Schindler averaged 111.4 and pinned six of his 10 attempts at double in his 6-4 victory over James Wade, and will take on 12th seed Ricardo Pietreczko on Saturday, when Raymond van Barneveld will also face Ross Smith after pipping Mike De Decker in a 6-5 win that saw him produce a critical 136 checkout.

Dimitri Van den Bergh and Gabriel Clemens’ encounter also came down to a deciding leg, where the former produced a 152 checkout to triumph and will now have to overcome seventh seed Josh Rock.

Dom Taylor made it a European Tour debut to remember in the afternoon session with a whitewash win over host nation qualifier Christian Goedl and will face 15th-seed Krzysztof Ratajski in the second-round opener.

The Bristolian threw three 14-darters and became just the ninth player to post a ton-plus average in their maiden European Tour match with his 100.2.

Fellow tour debutant Danny Lauby, who next plays two-time world champion Peter Wright, posted a 121 checkout en route to a 6-4 win over Ryan Joyce, while Ritchie Edhouse boosted his World Matchplay qualification campaign after beating Arron Monk by the same score.

He will play Dirk van Duijvenbode in round two, while Ricky Evans could not join him after missing three match darts in the deciding leg of his loss to Richard Veenstra, who set up a meeting with Stephen Bunting.

Jeffrey de Zwaan beat Karel Sedlacek 6-3, advancing to an evening encounter with Michael van Gerwen, Darius Labanauskas will face Joe Cullen in round two after his 6-4 win over Madars Razma, and Wessel Nijman, poised to play Danny Noppert, hit six 180s in the curtain raiser, a 6-5 victory over Romeo Grbavac.

Dutchman Gian van Veen was not thrown off by a day of flight delays and cancellations that saw him stuck at the airport for eight hours, reaching Graz in time to demolish Jose De Sousa 6-1 and book a second-round meeting with ninth seed Ryan Searie.