LUKE ‘The Nuke’ Littler will be playing in the third of tonight’s Bahrain Darts Masters quarter-finals.

The 16-year-old superstar, who spent his early childhood in Runcorn, will be facing PDC rival Nathan Aspinall at 5.15pm in a bid to reach the semi-finals on his World Series of Darts debut.

The winner will tackle Gerwyn Price, who knocked out Luke Humphries 6-4 in today's first quarter-final, in the last four, which follow on in a bumper session inside The Dome at Bahrain International Circuit.

Littler fought back from two legs down to first take control and then see off his Hong Kong opponent and World Championship qualifier, Man Lok Leung, in last night’s first-round action.

Former US Darts Masters winner Aspinall had to ride his luck and produce a rescue act in his Bahrain opener.

Aspinall survived two missed match darts from Lourence Ilagan before completing his comeback from 5-3 down to edge out the 2023 PDC Asian Tour number one with a brilliant 12-darter in the deciding leg of their clash.

"I started off well but he couldn't miss a double and he put me under pressure," said Aspinall.

"As I always do, I found a way to win and I think I pulled out three fantastic legs at the end. I'm very happy to get the win and it's a big day on Friday."

Warringtonian Littler, who honed his skills at the St Helens Darts Academy and announced his arrival on the big stage with his PDC World Darts Championship run to the final at Alexandra Palace over the festive period, will go into the contest as favourite.

Although Leung capitalised on a slow start from ‘The Nuke’ to open up a 2-0 lead in the first round, Littler came good.

He finished 77 to open his account in leg three, levelled on double ten and then produced checkouts of 151 and 136 on his way to a 5-2 lead, before finishing 120 in leg nine to close out the win.

Today’s quarter-finals, semi-finals and final is scheduled from 4pm to 8pm and UK viewers can watch the action on ITV4 from 4.30pm.

Bahrain Darts Masters First Round results:

Peter Wright 6-5 Haruki Muramatsu

Gerwyn Price 6-4 Reynaldo Rivera

Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Lourence Ilagan

Rob Cross 6-3 Tomoya Goto

Luke Littler 6-3 Man Lok Leung

Luke Humphries 6-0 Abdulla Saeed

Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Hasan Haji

Michael Smith 6-5 Paolo Nebrida

Bahrain Darts Masters Quarter-Finals, best of 11 legs:

Luke Humphries v Gerwyn Price

Michael Smith v Peter Wright

Nathan Aspinall v Luke Littler

Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross

Bahrain Darts Masters Semi-Finals, best of 13 legs:

Humphries/Price v Aspinall/Littler

Van Gerwen/Cross v Smith/Wright

Bahrain Darts Masters Final, best of 15 legs:

Humphries/Price/Aspinall/Littler v Van Gerwen/Cross/Smith/Wright