Lewis v Hamilton: A final to savour
It is fair to say that not a single person at the start of the World Championships was expecting the final to be contested between Andy Hamilton and Adrian Lewis, but it has been a competition that has seen the odds upset from the very first night and these two men have taken full advantage.
It doesn’t sound too much of a surprise to hear that the reigning World Champion has reached the final, but when you consider he was two sets down in his opening match, and four sets behind in his semi-final, Lewis’s appearance on Monday evening is nothing short of miraculous.
After the pure farce of the shenanigans over the breeze on stage, Jackpot was anything but on the money as he slipped 5-1 down to James Wade and looked a well and truly beaten man. However, he showed why, in his own words, he is “the best in the world at the moment” by reeling off five straight sets and 10 legs in a row to record arguably the greatest comeback in World Championship history.
The Champ’s confidence will be at an all-time high after that sensational win, but so will his opponent’s as the Hammer has shown the form of his life to reach his first World final. Being in Phil Taylor’s quarter of the draw meant that few gave him much chance of reaching the last eight; and when he was 5-3 down to Simon Whitlock in the semi-finals very few would have thought he would make the last two, but he has proved everyone wrong through guts, determination and a whole lot of quality.
It isn’t actually out of the ordinary to see someone from outside the top 10 reaching the World final, Kirk Shepherd and Whitlock in 2008 and 2010 respectively weren’t even seeded when they finished as runners-up, but nonetheless, Hamilton’s run has been remarkable.
Unsurprisingly, Lewis is heavy favourite to retain his title at 2/5 with Hamilton being offered at 9/4 but the record between the two is surprisingly even, in fact it is completely level at eight wins a piece and even on television each man has two victories.
I can’t see there being much in it at all come Monday evening as Hamilton has been so consistently good over the competition; Lewis might be able to blow him away for a set or two at a time, but he will always bounce back.
The offer of a Lewis win with a -1.5 handicap is a tempting one at 8/15 with Sky Bet, but I would rather play it safe and just back Jackpot to lift the trophy again at 2/5.