Luke Littler reaches World Darts Championship final after beating Rob Cross at Alexandra Palace
Luke Littler, 16, moves one win away from Alexandra Palace glory after crushing Rob Cross 6-2 in semi-finals; Littler will face Luke Humphries in final; We're back at 7.30pm on Wednesday for the World Darts Championship final - live on Sky Sports Darts
By Raz Mirza at Alexandra Palace, London
Last Updated: 03/01/24 6:04am
Teenager Luke Littler made it through to the World Darts Championship final after crushing Rob Cross to move within one match of a historical maiden title at Alexandra Palace.
Littler averaged 106.05, hitting 16 maximums and ton-plus finishes of 149, 142 and 132 en route to a magnificent 6-2 victory against 2018 winner Cross at the age of 16.
He will face another in-form player in Luke Humphries, who hit top gear to whitewash Scott Williams 6-0 in the second semi-final to become the new world No 1 and stretch his unbeaten run to 18 matches.
"No words! Crazy to think I'm in a World Championship final in my debut," Littler told Sky Sports. "I was happy winning one game but I could go all the way!
"You're playing Rob, he's a world champion and won on debut. Rob told me 'God bless, you're a step away, do it'.
"I've just settled on the stage. It took me a few legs to settle in the game and once I found that rhythm I was good to go."
World Darts Championship Semi-Finals Results
- Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW
- As it happened on semi-finals night at the Worlds
- World Darts Championship: Schedule, Fixtures & Results
Littler was greeted by the Warrington Wolves' mascot during an electrifying walk-on, but it was Cross who stormed out of the blocks and edged a quality set in a deciding leg with a 108.6 average.
It was the first time Littler had lost the first set in the tournament.
The teenager recovered from 2-1 down in the next but a crucial 74 checkout in the deciding leg saw him draw level with a 101 average and four 180s.
Cross, the 2018 champion, appeared flummoxed by Littler's incredible accuracy on the treble 20 bed and it wasn't long before the 16-year-old moved ahead by smashing in a stunning 142 checkout before hitting the front.
Littler opened the fourth set with an 11-darter and he then struck a mammoth 149 on double 16 to move 2-1 up in legs.
'Voltage' levelled and he then hit six perfect darts in the next leg, but it was the world youth champion who extended his lead with a magnificent 11-darter to move 3-1 ahead averaging 103.8 with nine 180s and 65 per cent on the doubles.
Cross, who made a remarkable comeback from 4-0 down to beat Chris Dobey 5-4 in their quarter-final on Monday, pinned an unorthodox 138 checkout in the second leg of the fifth set.
Littler missed one set dart at tops to extend his lead, allowing former electrician Cross to pounce and close the gap to 3-2 in sets.
'The Nuke' wrapped up the sixth set 3-1 with a 107 average compared to Cross' 91.58 to restore a two-set cushion with 14 maximums.
And Littler had one foot in the final when he closed out the seventh set by the same scoreline, averaging 110.55 for sets six and seven.
The teen star was toying with Cross and he raised the roof with a roof-raising 132 checkout leaving Cross shaking his head in sheer disbelief.
Littler wrapped up a historic win with a two-dart 80 out-shot to reach Wednesday's final against three-time major champion Humphries.
Looking ahead to the final, Littler added: "I'll do what I've been doing. In the morning, go for a ham and cheese omelette, then come here have a pizza and then practice. That's what I've done every day."
A scintillating performance from Luke Littler
Littler got better the longer the match went on. In the last three sets (13 legs) he averaged 112.62
106.05 match average
Humphries produced a statement victory against Williams with a 108.74 average, 14 180s, a breath-taking display on the doubles and a sensational six ton-plus finishes - including a magical 170.
"It was amazing. I would never have imagined myself to be the world No 1. That is a special feeling. And to do it in style," said a delighted Humphries, who has scooped World Grand Prix, Grand Slam of Darts and Players Championship Finals titles since October.
"I'm really pleased with that performance. But, world No 1 can last for a couple months, World Champion is forever so I've got a really tough task tomorrow against Luke."
Humphries is aiming to cap off a sensational 2023 campaign by becoming only the third player - alongside Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen - to win four Premier TV titles in the space of 12 months.
Meanwhile, after Dennis Priestley won the inaugural World Darts Championship in 1993/94, Littler is now bidding to follow in the footsteps of Van Barneveld and Cross, who both lifted the sport's biggest title on debut.
- Darts in 2024: Key dates for World Championship, Premier League and more
- Get Sky Sports | Download the Sky Sports App
- Follow us @skysportsdarts I Love The Darts Podcast
Averaging telephone numbers
Humphries' 108.74 is the second highest winning average ever in the semi final of a World Championship
Littler's 106.05 is the fifth
Live World Darts Championship
January 3, 2024, 7:30pm
How social media reacted to Littler's win...
The sport's biggest event sees the final two players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace on Wednesday night. You can watch all the action live on our dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.
Watch the World Darts Championship final on January 3, 2024 - live on Sky Sports Darts. Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW