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WTC final: Sunny weather in Southampton as first session holds the key

PTI/Southampton
Filed on June 23, 2021
New Zealand players during a practice session at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Wednesday. (Blackcaps Twitter)

India are leading by 32 runs with eight wickets in hand, going into the final day of the title clash


Southampton woke up to clear blue skies for the first time in a week on Wednesday as India and New Zealand geared up for final day's challenge in the World Test Championship final.

Pacer Tim Southee says wriggling out a tough situation to eventually take a lead was a commendable effort by New Zealand and the action in the first session on Wednesday would determine the fate of the final.

India are leading by 32 runs with eight wickets in hand, going into the final day of the title clash.

New Zealand were languishing at 162 for six but were eventually scored 249 runs to take a 32-run first innings lead, thanks to valuable knocks by the tail-enders including Southee, who scored 30.

"We would have liked to get a few more (runs), get a bit of lead of over 50, but I think, the Indian side were outstanding with the ball and put us under pressure at the start of the day. So for us to sneak past and get a 30-odd run lead was nice in the end," Southee said at the post-day media interaction.

"But you always want more. It is shaping up for an intriguing day tomorrow.

"That is a quality Indian batting line-up with two of their best (batters) at the crease at the moment. So we have to be on top of our game tomorrow (Wednesday) and that first hour or two are going to be crucial on each side, it will set up the day," the right-arm pacer added.

New Zealand had bundled out India for 217 in their first essay.

Southee reckons that all three results are still possible on Wednesday, the reserve day of the match.

"We will assess in the morning and come up with our plan, but we know, we have got a tough day ahead of us, like I said it is exciting to have all three results still possible," he said.





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