Michael Smith set for world championship final showdown

Michael Smith lived up to his 'Bully Boy' nickname by carving up Aldershot's James Wade in the semi-final of the William Hill World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace, London, last night (Sunday) and now meets 2020 winner Peter Wright, who beat Gary Anderson 6-4 in the other semi-final, tonight (Monday).

Monday, 3rd January 2022, 7:10 am
Updated Monday, 3rd January 2022, 7:12 am
Michael Smith reacts to the win after his semi-final against James Wade

The 2019 finalist from St Helens held all the aces and never wavered throughout a match which was virtually dead and buried when he led 5-1 with an average of 100-plus

'The Machine' clawed a couple of sets back to make the final 6-3 scoreline less embarrassing but he never came within touching distance of his superior, who is currently playing the best darts of his career and hopefully will maintain his blistering form in the ultimate showdown.

Smith finished with an average of 100,98 compared to Wade's 95.43, threw 16 of the 21 maximums and also weighed-in with half of the six 100-plus checkouts, including a brilliant 130 on the bullseye.

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The St Helens man is not only chasing his maiden world title but also his first major, having lost in all four of his previous finals, including the 2018 Premier League, 2019 World Matchplay and 2020 Masters - but on this evidence he'll take some stopping.

His third 100+ average in five matches helped keep his tournament mark comfortably above a ton (101.3) while he's also fired in a barrage of 59 180s in just 149 legs (0.39 per leg), pinned almost 48% of his doubles (88/185) and, arguably more importantly, remained so much more mentally focused than at any point in his career so far.