WTC final: Pace bowlers strike as India fight back

India's Mohammed Shami celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of New Zealand's Ross Taylor. (Reuters)
India's Mohammed Shami celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of New Zealand's Ross Taylor. (Reuters)

Southampton - New Zealand, resuming at 101 for two in reply to India's first innings total of 217 all out, lost three wickets in the morning session



By AFP

Published: Tue 22 Jun 2021, 4:50 PM

The ill-fated inaugural World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand resumed at Southampton on Tuesday after an hour’s delay following the latest rain interruption to blight the showpiece match.

New Zealand, resuming at 101 for two in reply to India's first innings total of 217 all out, were 135 for five at lunch.

Pace bowlers Ishant Sharma (2/27) and Mohammed Shami (2/31) brought India back into the contest.

While Shami sent back Ross Taylor (11) and BJ Watling (1), Sharma dismissed Henry Nicholls (7) in the morning session.

Skipper Kane Williamson was batting on 19 and Colin de Grandhomme had yet to open his account.

Only 141.1 overs out of 360 scheduled for the first four days had been bowled.

Given a standard men’s Test lasts a maximum of five days, this match would usually be destined for a draw.

But match referee Chris Broad and the umpires can take the game into Wednesday’s specially allocated reserve day in the hope a two-year process to crown Test cricket’s first official world champion might end with a winner.

Sunday saw New Zealand’s Kyle Jamieson take 5-31 in just 22 overs — the towering paceman’s fifth five-wicket haul in just eight career Tests.

Blackcaps opener Devon Conway fell for 54 two balls before stumps.

It was his third score of over fifty in five Test innings following the 29-year-old South Africa-born left-hander’s stunning 200 on his debut against England at Lord’s this month.

India, as New Zealand had done after winning the toss, bowled well in helpful conditions with paceman Ishant Sharma taking 1-19 in 12 overs and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin 1-20 in 12.

If this match is drawn, the teams will share the prize money for the final of $2.4 million.


More news from Cricket