PDC World Darts final: Leg-by-leg report and highlights from Michael van Gerwen 3-7 Peter Wright

Peter Wright celebrates becoming world darts champion
Peter Wright celebrates becoming world darts champion

Live leg-by-leg report and highlights from the William Hill World Darts Championship final as Peter Wright defeated Michael van Gerwen 7-3 at the Ally Pally.


Happy New Year Resolution: Never give up on your dreams

It's taken Peter Wright many years to reach the top of the sport but he never stopped believing. Every defeat he suffered at the hands of MVG in a final he kept saying "I'll get him next time" and finally, on the biggest stage of them all, he did it.

At the age of 49, he's the decade's first sporting world champion and if this doesn't teach you never to give up on your dreams, then nothing will.

Premier League line-up

The line-up for the Premier League Darts season has also been announced along with two of the nine 'Challengers' - as the format of 2019 is repeated.

The nine permanent players are Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright, Nathan Aspinall, Rob Cross, Michael Smith, Daryl Gurney and debutant Glen Durrant following his incredible debut season in the PDC.

As you might have guessed, Fallon Sherrock gets the call to be a Challenger while John Henderson will also return to Aberdeen to try and recreate that unforgettable of last year. You can click here for all the dates.

Peter Wright reaction

Let's now hear from the first sporting world champion of the decade, who almost gave up the sport five years ago before reaching his first final and is now reaping the rewards for his determination never to give up on his dreams.

He said: "The chances I used to give Michael, he gave me then. Champion of the World sounds amazing. You should never give up, it doesn't matter how many times you get beaten. I've done it."

Michael van Gerwen, who averaged 102.88 and threw most 180s, was left to rue the difference in the finishing but was also very gracious in defeat.

He said: "Of course I'm very disappointed. Everything I missed he took out, his finishing was phenomenal and I can only blame myself. I had six darts to break throw in the fifth set and if you don't take chances like that, you don't win, simple as that."

PETER WRIGHT BEATS MICHAEL VAN GERWEN TO BECOME WORLD CHAMPION!

Sensational scenes at the Ally Pally as Peter Wright ends his long wait to become world champion...and finally beats Michael van Gerwen in a major final at the 10th attempt to do it.

And in truth, he didn't just beat him - he thrashed him with a quite stunning display and never looked fazed despite the defending champion also averaging well over 100 in a high-class final that was level at 2-2 before Snakebite won five of the next six sets.

It also brings a historic tournament, which will be remembered largely for Fallon Sherrock's exploits, to a fitting conclusion as Snakebite becomes the oldest ever first-time winner of the trophy aged 49, eclipsing Gary Anderson's previous record by five years.

Also it's Scotland who can celebrate having the first sporting world champion of the decade!

FINAL STATS: Michael van Gerwen 3-7 Peter Wright

Averages

  • MVG: 102.88
  • Wright: 102.79

180s

  • MVG: 16
  • Wright: 11

Doubles

  • MVG: 18/45 (40%)
  • Wright: 24/45 (53.3%)

100+ Checkouts

  • MVG: 128, 124
  • Wright: 140

SET 10 SCORE: Van Gerwen 1-3 Wright
MATCH SCORE: Van Gerwen 3-7 Wright (Best of 13 sets)

  • Leg Three
    Peter Wright is world champion! Unlike many of his previous meetings with MVG, there's no choking at the finishing line as visits of 140, 123, 81 and 137 leave him 20 with MVG trailing in his wake on 152. He steps up for double 10 and pins it with his last dart in hand to achieve his life dream!
    MVG 1-3 Wright
  • Leg Three
    Wright is within one leg of the title after breaking MVG with a 76 checkout to complete a nerveless 14-darter! Incredible scenes are about to erupt...
    MVG 1-2 Wright
  • Leg Two
    Van Gerwen fires in back-to-back 180s at the start of the leg that he hardly celebrates but he ends up missing double 12 for what would have been a subdued nine-darter! He comes back to pin double six for a 1--darter, with Wright only back on 43!
    MVG 1-1 Wright
  • Leg One, MVG to throw first
    Two legs away from glory as Snakebite pins double 12 for a 13-darter to back up four visits of 100+ while MVG waited on 60.
    MVG 0-1 Wright

SET NINE SCORE: Van Gerwen 2-3 Wright
MATCH SCORE: Van Gerwen 3-6 Wright (Best of 13 sets)

  • Leg Five
    Peter Wright is on the brink of becoming world champion for the first time! He defies MVG's 14th 180 of the match - and survives two set darts - before taking out 70 for a set-winning 15-darter.
    MVG 2-3 Wright
  • Leg Four
    Wright fires in his 11th 180 of the match to leave 102 but he blows six darts to finish from there - including two at doubles - as MVG holds his nerve on double eight to force a decider.
    MVG 2-2 Wright
  • Leg Three
    High tension as Wright pins double five with his last dart in hand after MVG missed two attempts at doubles from 25 after his previous effort to checkout 164 hit the outer bull.
    MVG 1-2 Wright
  • Leg Two
    MVG looks pretty downbeat at the moment but he raises his spirits somewhat with a 128 checkout to seal a 15-darter. Wright was way back on 208.
    MVG 1-1 Wright
  • Leg One, Wright to throw first
    As comfortable a hold as you're every likely to have against MVG in a World Championship match, let alone a final, as Wright completes a 15-darter, with MVG back on 170. As I say, as comfortable as it gets.
    MVG 0-1 Wright

Michael van Gerwen 3-5 Peter Wright: Six interval stats

Sky Bet latest odds: Wright is finally favourite to win his first world title at 4/7 after establishing a two-set lead yet again while MVG is 11/8. Click here now for all the Sky Bet live darts markets including most 180s & highest checkout.

Averages

  • MVG: 104.18
  • Wright: 104.03

180s

  • MVG: 12
  • Wright: 10

Doubles

  • MVG: 15/36 (41.67%)
  • Wright: 18/29 (62.07%)

100+ Checkouts

  • MVG: 124
  • Wright: 140

SET EIGHT SCORE: Van Gerwen 2-3 Wright
MATCH SCORE: Van Gerwen 3-5 Wright (Best of 13 sets)

  • Leg Five
    Van Gerwen has it all to do again as he misses tops for a 72 checkout and Wright makes the most of his pressurising visit of 140 by finishing from 50 to pinch a nervy leg in 17 darts against the throw.
    MVG 2-3 Wright
  • Leg Four
    This time it's van Gerwen who applies huge pressure with a visit of 131 to leave 36 for the set but back comes Wright, who'd previously fired in 133 from 165 remaining, to pin double 16 for a 14-darter. Crucial leg coming up and that's an understatement.
    MVG 2-2 Wright
  • Leg Three
    Nerveless clutch finishing from van Gerwen, who takes out 96 for a 17-darter after Wright's visit of 123 left him just eight to apply real pressure.
    MVG 2-1 Wright
  • Leg Two
    The quality of darts these two rivals are producing is a joy to behold. By far the match of the tournament and there could be another five and a half sets left! They both throw another 180 each but it's MVG who takes the leg after a 69 checkout seals his 12-darter.
    MVG 1-1 Wright
  • Leg One, MVG to throw first
    The wait for MVG's first 100+ checkout of the match is over as a classy finish from 124 follows visits of 137, 100 and 140 for a 12-dart hold at the start of the eighth set that he must win to restore parity.
    MVG 1-0 Wright

Michael van Gerwen 3-4 Peter Wright: Fifth interval stats

Sky Bet latest odds: MVG is hanging in there but still heads the betting at 4/7 while Wright is 11/8. Can you call it? Click here now for all the Sky Bet live darts markets including most 180s & highest checkout.

Averages

  • MVG: 104.53
  • Wright: 103.92

180s

  • MVG: 11
  • Wright: 9

Doubles

  • MVG: 13/33 (39.39%)
  • Wright: 15/25 (60%)

High Checkout

  • MVG: 88
  • Wright: 140

SET SEVEN SCORE: Van Gerwen 3-1 Wright
MATCH SCORE: Van Gerwen 3-4 Wright (Best of 13 sets)

  • Leg Four
    Just when we were starting to think Wright had van Gerwen on the ropes, he's fought back like a true champion that he is. MVG kicks off the leg with his 11th 180 and follows it up with back-to-back visits of 134 before completing the job on 53 for an 11-darter.
    MVG 2-1 Wright
  • Leg Three
    The three-time champ shows his fighting character when he pins bullseye for an 84 checkout against the darts, with Wright waiting on 15.
    MVG 2-1 Wright
  • Leg Two
    Van Gerwen finally stops the rot in some style, starting the leg with a 177 before a 10th 180 leaves him 46, which he takes out in two throws for an 11-darter.
    MVG 1-1 Wright
  • Leg One, Wright to throw first
    Snakebite maintains the momentum with an impressive 13-hold that includes three visits of 130+ but he did have to survive a dart at double seven as MVG attempted to take out 134.
    MVG 0-1 Wright

SET SIX SCORE: Van Gerwen 0-3 Wright
MATCH SCORE: Van Gerwen 2-4 Wright (Best of 13 sets)

  • Leg Three
    A sloppy leg from van Gerwen culminates in three more missed darts at doubles from 40 and Wright punishes him with an 80 checkout to complete a whitewash set.
    MVG 0-3 Wright
  • Leg Two
    This is absolutely sensational stuff from Snakebite, who is showing no signs of a man who supposedly has battle scars from nine previous final defeats to his opponent tonight. A ninth maximum inbetween visits of 100 and 140 leaves him 81, which he takes out in two for an 11-darter.
    MVG 0-2 Wright
  • Leg One, MVG to throw first
    Both players trade 180s in another high-quality leg which ends with Wright picking off 81 for a 12-dart break of throw, as MVG waited on 143.
    MVG 0-1 Wright

Michael van Gerwen 2-3 Peter Wright: Fourth interval stats

Sky Bet latest odds: MVG is still favourite despite Wright edging back into the lead overall. The Dutchman is 4/7 while Snakebite is now 11/8! Click here now for all the Sky Bet live darts markets including most 180s & highest checkout.

Averages

  • MVG: 104.21
  • Wright: 102.34

180s

  • MVG: 8
  • Wright: 7

Doubles

  • MVG: 10/26 (38.46%)
  • Wright: 11/21 (52.38%)

High Checkout

  • MVG: 88
  • Wright: 140

SET FIVE SCORE: Van Gerwen 1-3 Wright
MATCH SCORE: Van Gerwen 2-3 Wright (Best of 13 sets)

  • Leg Four
    Snakebite is back in front as his seventh maximum helps him recover from a slow start on the Dutchman's throw before taking out 96 after MVG missed a seventh successive dart at a double - this time on double 16 - for a 69 checkout.
    MVG 1-3 Wright
  • Leg Three
    Heavy, consistent scoring sees MVG control the leg against the darts but at the end of it he misses six clear attempts from 32 and Wright pinches a hold with a 19-darter. Has the tide of momentum turned again?
    MVG 1-2 Wright
  • Leg Two
    Some response from Snakebite, who follows MVG's opening visit of 180 with a maximum of his own before another puts him on course for the first World Championship nine-darter since 2016! Alas, after hitting a seventh treble 20, he can only land the big 19. It matters little as he comes back for a 10-darter, although MVG was providing pressure by leaving tops.
    MVG 1-1 Wright
  • Leg One, Wright to throw first
    Breathtaking start to the fifth set as MVG strings together visits of 140, 134 and 177 leaves him 50, which he takes out with his last dart in hand for a 12-darter, with Wright waiting on 105.
    MVG 1-0 Wright

Michael van Gerwen 2-2 Peter Wright: Third interval stats

Sky Bet latest odds: MVG's storming comeback sees him reclaim favourtism at 4/11 while Wright is out to 9/4. But what a match! Click here now for all the Sky Bet live darts markets including most 180s & highest checkout.

Averages

  • MVG: 104.96
  • Wright: 102.34

180s

  • MVG: 7
  • Wright: 4

Doubles

  • MVG: 9/17 (52.94%)
  • Wright: 8/17 (47.06%)

High Checkout

  • MVG: 88
  • Wright: 140

SET FOUR SCORE: Van Gerwen 3-2 Wright
MATCH SCORE: Van Gerwen 2-2 Wright (Best of 13 sets)

  • Leg Five
    Incredible drama at the end of a deciding leg that started with MVG's seventh 180 of the match. The Dutchman misses the bullseye for a 124 checkout before watching Snakebite just go low of tops for a 102 finish. He comes back to take out 25 for a 14-darter and his celebration says it all.
    MVG 3-2 Wright
  • Leg Four
    Snakebite is being blown away at the moment and is in real trouble after his opening visit of 40 is followed by MVG's sixth maximum. However he rallies with three 100+ visits, including two 140s, before an 81 checkout completes a gutsy hold.
    MVG 2-2 Wright
  • Leg Three
    It looks like the real van Gerwen has turned up after three weeks of waiting. A fifth maximum helps him take control of the leg - despite consistent scoring from Wright - and pins two 18s at the third attempt spanning two visits for a 14-darter.
    MVG 2-1 Wright
  • Leg Two
    Both players are comfortably averaging above 100 in a high class final but MVG's is north of 105 as he races away to another 13-darter, pinning double 18 with his opponent waiting on 60.
    MVG 1-1 Wright
  • Leg One, MVG to throw first
    A completely unfazed Wright shrugs off the last set with his fourth 180 and finishes a brilliant 12-dart break with a checkout from 140.
    MVG 0-1 Wright

SET THREE SCORE: Van Gerwen 3-0 Wright
MATCH SCORE: Van Gerwen 1-2 Wright (Best of 13 sets)

  • Leg Three
    Wow. Within the blink of an eye van Gerwen halves his deficit with a 37-dart set! Wright, who didn't muster an attempt a dart at a double in any of the legs, was back on 106 when MVG pinned tops.
    MVG 3-0 Wright
  • Leg Two
    Much better from MVG, who lifts his match average well above 100 thanks to a second successive leg of supreme quality, which includes visits of 134 and 141 either side of a fourth maximum on his way to an 11-darter.
    MVG 2-0 Wright
  • Leg One, Wright to throw first
    The Dutchman comes out after the interval with his third 180 en route to an impressive 13-darter to break the Wright throw. Maybe signs of a little gamesmanship here when he opted against the chance of a bullseye in his previous visit even though Wright was on 145.
    MVG 1-0 Wright

Michael van Gerwen 0-2 Peter Wright: Second interval stats

Sky Bet latest odds: Wright was the outsider at the start of the contest but the bookies now make both players 10/11! Click here now for all the Sky Bet live darts markets including most 180s & highest checkout.

Averages

  • MVG: 98.98
  • Wright: 105.02

180s

  • MVG: 2
  • Wright: 3

Doubles

  • MVG: 3/8 (37.5%)
  • Wright: 6/13 (46.15%)

High Checkout

  • MVG: 88
  • Wright: 81

SET TWO SCORE: Van Gerwen 1-3 Wright
MATCH SCORE: Van Gerwen 0-2 Wright (Best of 13 sets)

  • Leg Four
    Are we witnessing the start of history being made?! Wright, bidding to become the oldest first-time winner at 49, moves 2-0 up in sets - and deservedly so - with a superb 13-dart hold of throw despite pressure from MVG's second maximum of the match.
    MVG 1-3 Wright
  • Leg Three
    Wright fires in his third 180 of the match and his 60 for the tournament, which means he's just 11 behind Gary Anderson's all-time record of 71. More importantly he backs it up by taking out 81 for a 12-dart break of throw and moves to the cusp of a two-set lead.
    MVG 1-2 Wright
  • Leg Two
    A comfortable - and impressive - 14-dart hold for Snakebite as he takes out 48 for a 14-darter that included three more 100+ visits.
    MVG 1-1 Wright
  • Leg One, MVG to throw first
    Van Gerwen gets away with busting his score when trying to finish off 12 but Wright, who earlier hit his second 180 of the match, couldn't take advantage with a single attempt at tops. Back comes MVG for a 16-dart hold.
    MVG 1-0 Wright

Michael van Gerwen 0-1 Peter Wright: First interval stats

Sky Bet latest odds: MVG is still favourite at 8/15 despite losing the opening set while Peter Wright can be backed at 6/4. Click here now for all the Sky Bet live darts markets including most 180s & highest checkout.

Averages

  • MVG: 99.89
  • Wright: 101.92

180s

  • MVG: 1
  • Wright: 1

Doubles

  • MVG: 2/4 (50%)
  • Wright: 3/8 (37.5%)

100+ Checkouts

  • MVG: NA
  • Wright: NA

SET ONE SCORE: Van Gerwen 2-3 Wright
MATCH SCORE: Van Gerwen 0-1 Wright (Best of 13 sets)

  • Leg Five
    Van Gerwen responds to Wright's opening visit of 140 with his first maximum of the match but can't quite end the leg wit ha 170 checkout when his attempt at the bull finds 25. Snakebite keeps his cool from 56 for a set-winning 14-darter.
    MVG 2-3 Wright
  • Leg Four
    Snakebite is threatening another break of throw when three visits of 100+ help reduce his score down to 73 but he doesn't get a chance to take it out as MVG nails the bull for a 86 checkout.
    MVG 2-2 Wright
  • Leg Three
    The crowd are really behind Wright in these early stages as he survives MVG's dart at double five for a 79 checkout - after he spurned one attempt at tops in the previous visit - before edging a 17-darter.
    MVG 1-2 Wright
  • Leg Two
    Wright bounces straight back from his double troubles in the first leg by breaking straight back with a fine 13-darter, with MVG back on 106.
    MVG 1-1 Wright
  • Leg One, Wright to throw first
    Snakebite bosses the opening leg of the match with his first 180 and a visit of 140 but he spurns three darts at a double and MVG pounces with an 88 checkout to complete a 14-dart break.
    MVG 1-0 Wright

1915: Let's get this party started! Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen are back on this stage together for the first time since the 2014 final. Will it be a different result this time - and indeed different to the other eight major finals between the pair?

1900: We're now just around 10 minutes from the players making their way to the oche. Let's just remind ourselves of some of the high points from the semi-finals...

1830: Right, in light of all the form, stats and H2H record already discussed below, who is going to be crowned the first world champion of the decade?

After most of his defeats to MVG, Peter Wright often utters the words "I'll get him next time" and I think tonight will finally be the night it happens. The stars appear to be aligning in terms of his form and stats eclipsing those of MVG at just the right time, plus there's a different air of confidence about him. He says he's "learned from his mistakes" and I believe him.

As I wrote in my final preview, he's 9/4 for glory while the 7-5 and 7-6 scorelines are both available at 10/1 in what should be a very close match as usual. If you're not convinced about Wright having the bottle to get over the line, then how about over 12.5 sets at 9/2 in stead?

A pair of Wright specials I like the look of his evens about him making three or more 100+ checkouts and also the 3/1 available for him to hit most 180s and most 100+ checkouts at 3/1, which still pays out even if he loses of course.

Finally, if you are completely disagreeing with this and think MVG will come out all guns blazing and destroy his opponent then you may fancy the audacious 20/1 on Wright firing less than 6.5 180s. Van Gerwen himself only managed three in nine sets against Nathan Aspinall so even the very best can struggle for the maximums on an off day.

Here's a poll of what some our followers are saying on Twitter...

1820: So what have the players been saying ahead of this repeat of the 2014 final?

Peter Wright: "I want to play the best player in the world, the number one, the guy who wins all the titles - or the titles I have given him. But he will be playing a different Wrighty, and this Wrighty will be up for MvG. I have not been in the final since 2014. I was not ready to be world champion then, he deserved to be world champion and has done a fantastic job being the world champion. But this time, I think I am ready; I know I am ready. I have learned a lot in all of those years, have matured more. I have learned from mistakes - and MvG will be playing a new Wrighty, not the old Wrighty... it is my time, that is why I am here."

MVG: "Most of the time when he (Wright) plays me, he sort of blows it up, misses darts at doubles. That is a good thing for myself. Until the semi-final, I had a higher tournament average than he did, and everyone is saying he is playing quite well, so that must say what my standard is. He has to do better if he wants to beat me, he knows that. Against me, he is not allowed to miss those doubles, so we will see what is going to happen and I need to make sure I play a bit better than him."

1810: As far as the whole 2019 season is concerned, Michael van Gerwen as already enjoyed another historic season.

His previously mentioned victory over Wright in the Champions League of Darts saw him complete the 'Green Sweep' of major PDC titles at the age of just 30 and there's just no stopping his desire to win even more.

Van Gerwen's recent triumph over Gerwyn Price at the Players Championship Finals also notched up his 51st individual career TV title and his 50th in the PDC.

It was also his fourth TV crown in just over a month having also triumphed in the World Grand Prix, Champions League and World Series of Darts Finals while it's was also his eighth of 2019 following his successes at the Masters, Premier League, Melbourne Masters and New Zealand Masters.

Wright's fans should be hopeful is the fact he headed to the Ally Pally on the back of a superb six months in which he landed four titles and also setting the highest average for a broadcast match.

Van Gerwen has obviously fared better this season and his recent triumph over Gerwyn Price at the Players Championship Finals notched up his 51st individual career TV title - 50 of which in the PDC since 2012!

It was also his fourth TV crown in just over a month having also triumphed in the World Grand Prix, Champions League and World Series of Darts Finals while it's was also his eighth of 2019 following his successes at the Masters, Premier League, Melbourne Masters and New Zealand Masters.

However, although MVG and Price have earned most of the darting praise over the past six months, Wright has also enjoyed more than his fair share of success.

We landing four titles - including three in a row back in July - while he also also set the highest average for a broadcast match. with a mark of 123.5 against Krzysztof Ratajski.

1755: Here's how their overall careers compare...

  • MVG's career highlights: 3x World Champion (2014, 2017, 2019), 2x World Matchplay champion (2015, 2016), 5x Premier League champion (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), 5x World Grand Prix champion (2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019), 2x UK Open champion (2015, 2016), 3x Grand Slam of Darts champion (2015, 2016, 2017), 4x European champion (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), 5x Masters champion (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), 5x Players Championship Finals champion ( 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019), 4x World Series of Darts Finals winner (2015, 2016, 2017, 2019), 3x World Cup winner (2014, 2017, 2018) & 11 televised World Series titles.
    Career PDC titles: 133 (TV: 53)
    Majors PDC Titles/Finals: 39/49
    Titles this season: 14 (TV: 8)
  • Peter Wright's career highlights: UK Open champion (2017), World Championship runner-up (2014), Premier League runner-up (2017), World Matchplay runner-up (2017), World Cup winner (2019) 26 non-major PDC titles including Melbourne Darts Masters (2018) and German Darts Masters (2017, 2019). Fourth player to win 10 PDC tournaments in a calendar year (2017)
    Career PDC titles: 27 (TV: 5)
    Majors PDC Titles/Finals: 1/14
    Titles this season: 4 (TV: 1)

Not only has the 2017 UK Open champion lost all nine of their previous battles with a prestigious title on the line, dating back to their first in the 2014 Ally Pally final, Wright has also suffered heartache in three of his other four to Phil Taylor (World Matchplay 2017), Gary Anderson (Champions League 2018) and most recently Gerwyn Price at the Grand Slam of Darts.

Precious few darts fans - if any - would therefore begrudge Snakebite reaching the pinnacle of the sport at the age of 49. And as we mentioned earlier that would make him the oldest first-time winner of the PDC World Championship.

1735: So, as you'll already be well aware, Michael van Gerwen has dominated their head-to-head meetings, especially in major finals with nine victories out of nine. The first was the 2014 World Championship and four of the following eight were particularly galling from Snakebite's point of view...

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Having already suffered the pain of losing a last-leg decider in the inaugural World Series of Darts Finals in 2015, history repeated itself on one of the sport's biggest occasions when Wright missed six title darts in the climax of the 2017 Premier League season.

It happened yet again in this year's Champions League of Darts final - this time blowing a 10-7 lead and also spurning three title darts to lose 11-10.

Will these battle scares prove telling if this final goes the distance once more?

1720: Before we get stuck into those head-to-head records, I want to share with you an interview my colleague Dom Newton-Collinge conducted with legendary MC John McDonald, who has only missed one session of darts since the World Championship moved to the Ally Pally.

1710: We've already heard from two legends of the Sky Sports commentary box but what about the voices of the sport on the radio?! During our time at this year's World Darts Championship, I also caught up with Paul Nicholson and Chris Mason, who bring darting drama to life for those travelling around the country or for those who don't have Sky at home. Well, as Chris even explains in the interview, some fans like their commentary so much they press mute on Sky!

1700: Here's those promised tournament stats and, surprisingly, it's tonight's underdog Peter Wright who pretty much bosses the categories...

TOURNAMENT STATS (MVG first)

  • Average: 98.14 - 98.29
  • Best Ave: 104.09 (v Bunting) - 105.86 (v Humphries)
  • 180s: 27 - 57
  • 100+ checkouts: 9 - 15
  • Highest checkout: 170 - 170
  • Doubles: 74/170 (43.53%) - 91/205 (44.39%)
  • Legs won/lost: 74/47 - 91/70

You can of course says the amount of 180s that Snakebite has hit compared to MVG as well as the astounding number of 100+ checkouts is partly down to him playing more legs of darts in closer matches but on the flip side, that obviously makes the higher average even more impressive.

1650: Before we move onto their overall tournament statistics and head-to-head record, here's a couple of interviews we prepared specially for the occasion with two of the commentators who, as ever, have called the darting drama brilliantly over the past three weeks. Wayne Mardle and, of course, John Part.

1640: By contrast, Peter Wright's route to the final has been far more dramatic and taxing...

If you believe in sporting fate, then you've got to look back on his remarkable recovery against Noel Malicdem and wonder if he's destined to win his first world title.

On the brink of defeat he required 302 in six darts and did just that with three treble 18s followed by a stunning 140 checkout with his opponent waiting on 42 for the match.

He did actually ponder whether this luck - or brilliance depending how you look at it - may be written in the darting stars somehow.

After labouring past Seigo Asada and surviving a stirring comeback from Jeffrey de Zwaan, who trailed 2-0 in the fourth set after losing the first three, to win 4-3, Snakebite went on to record a personal best world championship average of 105.86 against Luke Humphries and threw four more 100+ checkouts, including a 170 and a 161, to take his tally to 13 for the tournament.

He added another two during a bad-tempered 6-3 win over Gerwyn Price in which the post-match debate was dominated by the lack of a handshake and the Iceman's "OTT" reaction (his words) to Snakebite attempting to engage in some light-hearted banter after winning the first set.

Thankfully the pair have now made up, with Price apologising for his behaviour and also sharing a genuinely comical exchange they've had on WhatsApp.

1630: Let's take a look at how Michael van Gerwen booked his place in his fourth World Championship final as he bids to continue his 100% record once he's got this far...

You may have forgotten now - it's that long ago - but MVG threw the first of the tournament's eight 170 checkouts on opening night and that's about as dramatic as it's got for him.

Despite losing the opening set in that match against Jelle Klaasen, he won 11 on the trot before the dogged Darius Labanauskas gave him some cause for frustration en route to the semi-finals. But even that was mostly for the game-delaying cut finger.

MVG was also well below his best in the semi-finals against Nathan Aspinall, who will be frustrated he couldn't punish him with a disappointing performance of his own.

If anyone can save their very best for when it matters most, it's van Gerwen, but Snakebite's supporters also have plenty of reason for optimism.

1600: Happy New Year and welcome to our live blog of what could well be a fittingly historic end to a PDC World Championship that's already provided no shortage of landmark moments, drama, shocks and crowd-pleasing thrills.

Obviously the Queen of the Palace Fallon Sherrock dominated nearly all of the global headlines with her astonishing history-making victories against Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljovic but the entertainment didn't stop there, with a record eight 170 checkouts, over 800 maximums, 31 matches going the full distance and a couple of agonising nine-darter attempts.

So how can history be made tonight?

Well, if Peter Wright finally beats Michael van Gerwen in a major final at the 10th attempt then he'll become the oldest first-time winner of the PDC World Championship at the age of 49!

The current holder of that accolade belongs to Gary Anderson, who eclipsed Dennis Priestley by one year when defeating Phil Taylor in 2015 aged 44 while the Power is the oldest ever champion having lifted the last of his 14 in 2013 at 52.

Success for Snakebite would therefore be quite something when you consider Raymond van Barneveld's career came to and end at the age of 'just' 52 on the opening weekend of this tournament, which feels like a lifetime ago now.

But, even if Michael van Gerwen defends the title for the first time in his career, at least we can still say we've witnessed the crowning of the first sporting world champion of a new decade.

In the coming updates before the action gets under way at 7pm, we'll be going through each player's route to the final, their head-to-head record and tournament statistics, as well as my prediction - for what it's worth!

But in the meantime here are tonight's match odds from Sky Bet...

  • Michael van Gerwen (4/11) v Peter Wright (9/4)

Click here for more Sky Bet title and match odds

If you want to look back on how the tournament has unfolded then click the link below for all the results which includes all the reviews - and highlights - from every day.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL TOURNAMENT RESULTS, REVIEWS & HIGHLIGHTS

PDC World Darts Championship: Past Finals

Final scores in sets

  • 1994 - Dennis Priestley 6-1 Phil Taylor
  • 1995 - Phil Taylor 6-2 Rod Harrington
  • 1996 - Phil Taylor 6-4 Dennis Priestley
  • 1997 - Phil Taylor 6-3 Dennis Priestley
  • 1998 - Phil Taylor 6-0 Dennis Priestley
  • 1999 - Phil Taylor 6-2 Peter Manley
  • 2000 - Phil Taylor 7-3 Dennis Priestley
  • 2001 - Phil Taylor 7-0 John Part
  • 2002 - Phil Taylor 7-0 Peter Manley
  • 2003 - John Part 7-6 Phil Taylor
  • 2004 - Phil Taylor 7-6 Kevin Painter
  • 2005 - Phil Taylor 7-4 Mark Dudbridge
  • 2006 - Phil Taylor 7-0 Peter Manley
  • 2007 - Raymond van Barneveld 7-6 Phil Taylor
  • 2008 - John Part 7-2 Kirk Shepherd
  • 2009 - Phil Taylor 7-1 Raymond van Barneveld
  • 2010 - Phil Taylor 7-3 Simon Whitlock
  • 2011 - Adrian Lewis 7-5 Gary Anderson
  • 2012 - Adrian Lewis 7-3 Andy Hamilton
  • 2013 - Phil Taylor 7-4 Michael van Gerwen
  • 2014 - Michael van Gerwen 7-4 Peter Wright
  • 2015 - Gary Anderson 7-6 Phil Taylor
  • 2016 - Gary Anderson 7-5 Adrian Lewis
  • 2017 - Michael van Gerwen 7-3 Gary Anderson
  • 2018 - Rob Cross 7-2 Phil Taylor
  • 2019 - Michael van Gerwen 7-3 Michael Smith

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