PHIL TAYLOR and James Wade were sensationally dumped from the Cash Converters World Cup by Spanish assassins Carlos Rodriguez and Antonio Alcinas at the Rainton Meadows Arena on Friday night.
Spain had defeated Japan to win through to the second round of the tournament, and Rodriguez and Alcinas produced the performances of their lives to snatch victory in a deciding leg.
Spain trailed 4-2 before winning three in a row to edge in front, and both players hit 180s in the decider, which Alcinas won for an 11-dart leg.
"This is the greatest moment of my career," said Alcinas, who will also play Wade in the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship later this month. "Both of us played really well and it^s amazing to beat Phil and James."
Taylor said: "The Spanish lads took their chances well and hit some big shots at the right time. They punished me and James when we missed and deserved to win."
Australia, the number three seeds represented by Simon Whitlock and Paul Nicholson, narrowly avoiding an upset when they edged out Irish pair Mick McGowan and William O^Connor 6-5, but Northern Ireland were knocked out by Austria.
The Austrians were inspired by Mensur Suljovic, who hit three 180s and a 121 finish, although Maik Langendorf^s dream debut in a televised event continued in style.
Darin Young hit five 180s for the USA in their 6-4 win over Sweden, while Barrie Bates landed the winning double for Wales in all six legs of their defeat of New Zealand.
Canada were also narrow winners, with John Part and Ken MacNeil edging out the Belgian pair of Patrick Bulen and Rocco Maes in a deciding leg.
Scottish pair Gary Anderson and Robert Thornton proved too strong for Russia^s Anastasia Dobromyslova and Roman Konchikov, while the Netherlands, who are the number two seeds comprised of Raymond van Barneveld and Co Stompe, defeated Germany 6-2.
The remaining eight nations are now split into two four-team groups for Saturday^s play, with the Netherlands, Australia, Canada and Austria playing off in Group A in the afternoon session.
Spain will take on the USA, Wales and Scotland on Saturday evening in Group B, with matches seeing two Singles games and one Doubles game played over the best of five legs in the Loser Starts format.
Tickets for the Cash Converters World Cup of Darts are still available, with fans able to pay at the door on Saturday and Sunday to see the tournament.
Cash Converters World Cup of Darts
Canada 6-5 Belgium
USA 6-4 Sweden
Austria 6-3 Northern Ireland
Wales 6-4 New Zealand
Scotland 6-2 Russia
Netherlands 6-2 Germany
Spain 6-5 England
Australia 6-5 Republic of Ireland
WALES 6-4 NEW ZEALAND
WALES hit back from 3-1 down to defeat New Zealand 6-4 and win their place in the group stage of the Cash Converters World Cup of Darts.
The Kiwis, represented by Phillip Hazel and Warren Parry, followed up their afternoon win over Poland with a great start to take command against Mark Webster and Barrie Bates.
While Wales took the opening leg, as Bates landed double five after earlier misses from Webster and Hazel, it was the Kiwis who made the early running.
Hazel took out 76 to level in the second and 141 to win the third leg, while Parry landed double 16 in the fourth for a 3-1 lead.
Webster posted double a 180 for a second successive leg in the fifth, with Bates following that up with a 126 bullseye finish to stop the run.
Double ten and double 16 from Bates saw the Welsh move ahead before New Zealand took the eighth to square the match.
However, Bates posted tops for a 5-4 lead, and then finished 88 on the bull for victory.