After two-and-a-half weeks of darting drama from Alexandra Palace, it will come down to a battle of the two Luke’s to see who will be crowned the new champion of the world.
Darting sensation Luke Littler, who later this month will turn 17, will complete one of sport’s greatest ever achievements if he can lower the colours of newly-crowned world number one, Luke Humphries.
Littler brushed aside 2018 world champion Rob Cross 6-2 in his semi-final on Tuesday evening, averaging 106 and showing no sign of wilting despite being on the brink of greatness.
Humphries delivered a darting masterclass of his own to whitewash Michael van Gerwen’s conqueror Scott Williams, posting an average of 108.74 and firing in six ton-plus checkouts.
With both players seemingly operating at the peak of their powers, Wednesday’s final promises to be a true epic, in which may the best Luke win.
|Cool Hand Luke
|PDC World Championships
Bookmakers are slightly favouring the prospects of Humphries, a player making his seventh World Championship appearance and having the year of his life.
Cool Hand has already ticked off three major’s this year, winning the World Grand Prix, the Grand Slam of Darts and the Players Championship Finals, and now he is bidding the land the biggest prize of them all.
However, standing in his way is one of the most naturally gifted talents the game may have ever seen in young phenomenon Littler.
The Nuke is defying his tender years and showing little angst in doing so, rarely looking flustered and just casually going about his business.
Littler, who is the reigning world youth champion, has dropped only five sets across his six tournament wins, averaging in excess of 100 on four occasions.
Those wins include claiming the scalps of Andrew Gilding, Raymond van Barneveld, Brendan Dolan and, latterly, Cross.
He’s getting stronger but the same can be said for Humphries, who twice survived a deciding set in round three and four against Ricardo Pietreczko and Joe Cullen.
Since then, however, Cool Hand has been simply breathtaking, winning 5-1 in his quarter-final against Dave Chisnall with an average of 103.50 before averaging 108.74 in a 6-0 semi-final rout of Williams.
Humphries is also bidding to win this title for the first time and that will come with its pressures against Littler, who has shown that he is unlikely to be fazed by the occasion.
These two are going to bounce off one another and it is hard to envisage anything other than a barrage of 180’s.
There were 20 in Humphries’ 6-0 semi-final win over Williams, but he racked up 14 of those, and it would be no surprise to see this first-to-seven final go in excess of 10 sets.
That would lend itself to that total being surpassed in some style.
Littler’s 6-2 semi-final win over Cross featured 26 maximums so, while the line of over 34.5 might look steep, it is actually easy to see why given the amount of legs likely to be played.
When Michael Smith defeated Van Gerwen 7-4 in last year’s final, there were 37 180’s and the Luke’s appear to be playing every bit as well.
Interestingly, both players have hit 50 maximums across their six wins, Littler averaging 0.38 per leg to Humphries at 0.39.
The only thing missing from this tournament so far is a nine-darter and, as was the case in last year’s final, it is something we could see this evening.
It is 6/1 for that to occur while it is that we see a 170 finish, something Humphries pulled off in his semi-final win over Williams.
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.