Luke Littler and Luke Humphries are set to face off in the final of the 2023/24 World Darts Championship on Wednesday, following remarkable performances in the semi-finals at Alexandra Palace.
In a remarkable display on a historic night, teenage sensation Littler continued his fairy-tale journey with an impressive 6-2 victory over Rob Cross. With an outstanding average of 106, he now stands on the brink of completing one of the most extraordinary stories in sporting history.
On the other hand, Humphries showcased a darting masterclass by securing a dominant whitewash victory against Scott Williams. He achieved a remarkable average of 108.74 and converted six ton-plus checkouts, earning him the title of the new world number one.
- What? Luke Littler vs Luke Humphries, PDC World Darts Championship Final
- Where? Alexandra Palace, London
- When? Wednesday, January 3, 2024
|PDC World Championship Final
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Luke Littler (+130)
Littler made waves by eliminating the 2018 champion, Cross, securing a spot in the pinnacle match of the darting calendar just shy of his 17th birthday. Following his earlier triumph over Dutch icon Raymond van Barneveld in the last 16, the World Youth Champion added another significant victory in the capital, guaranteeing himself a minimum prize money of £200,000.
While Littler had only surrendered four sets en route to the semi-finals, he faced a momentary setback by losing a high-quality opening set to Cross, who averaged an impressive 108. However, resilient and unfazed, Littler rebounded after surviving a set dart in the second, leveling with legs of 13 and 14 darts. He then showcased brilliance with a sensational 142 checkout, establishing a 2-1 lead.
The unflinching teenager continued his dominance with a majestic 149 checkout in set four, defying six perfect darts from Cross to seal it in a remarkable 11 darts. Despite a topsy-turvy fifth set where Cross reduced the deficit, Littler maintained composure, delivering consecutive 13-darters to secure a 4-2 lead.
Dispelling any notion of nerves at the finishing line, Littler started set eight with a crowd-rousing 132 checkout, leaving Cross in disbelief. Despite Cross' resilience, Littler remained inspired, wrapping up the historic win with a two-dart 80 outshot. The world number eight's earlier quarter-final comeback was not replicated. Littler etched his name in darting history with this momentous triumph.
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Luke Humphries (-145)
Humphries complemented Littler's remarkable feats with a splendid performance of his own. He swiftly overcame Williams, the conqueror of Michael van Gerwen, in six consecutive sets to move tantalizingly close to realizing his destiny in the world of darts.
Having narrowly triumphed over Ricardo Pietreczko and Joe Cullen in deciding set contests, Humphries showcased his prowess with a 103 average in the quarter final demolition of Dave Chisnall, before elevating his game against the helpless Williams.
The 28-year-old commenced the showdown with an impressive 11-dart finish. This set the stage for one of the most extraordinary performances witnessed on the Alexandra Palace stage. Humphries sustained his electrifying start with successive 121 and 136 checkouts in the second set. The display of big finishes continued in the third set, featuring a magical 170 followed by a set-winning 126 combination. This propelled him to a commanding 3-0 lead.
Despite a brief scare in the fourth set, Humphries resumed his dominance with an exceptional fifth set. He found his second 121 finish of the contest and maintaining an astonishing 122 average to establish what appeared to be an insurmountable cushion.
While Williams fought valiantly, he couldn't evade the whitewash. Humphries closed out the match with legs of 13, 16, and 16 darts in the final stages, marking another significant milestone in his impressive career.
There is nothing to separate the two players and the bookies have priced them closely. Humphries, the pre-tournament favorite has been in exceptional form which he has continued throughout the tournament. Littler has come from nowhere and become a household name at 16. It would be a stunning achievement to become world darts champion at 16 and he will have the crowd on his side. Will nerves get the better of him? This hasn’t been an issue so far.
Humphries is resolute and determined. He will likely have a high scoring and consistent final. However, Littler has proved his exceptional talent and his high checkout ability enables him to break his opponents throw.
This is potentially one step too far but the prediction is a close win for Littler.
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