Day 5, WTC Final: India Lead New Zealand by 32 Runs at Stumps
India vs NZ: Latest updates from Day 5 of the World Test Championship final.
Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma were both back in the dressing room before the end of Day 5 of the World Test Championship final being played in Southampton.
At Stumps, Virat and Pujara were at the crease with the team’s score at 64/2 and a lead of 32 runs.
Tim Southee was responsible for both openers’ wickets as the pace ace first removed Shubman Gill for 8 and then delivered a peach of an inswinger to ping Rohit Sharma dead in front of the sticks for 30 (off 81 balls). The senior pro had been excellent in his judgement outside the off-stump but erred on this occasion by shouldering arms to an inducker zeroing on the pads.
New Zealand were earlier bundled out for 249 with pacer Mohammed Shami returning a brilliant 4/76. Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson held fort with his 177-ball 49 before wafting at one away from the body to give catching practice to Virat Kohli at gully.
While Shami dominated the wicket charts, others chipped in to plot New Zealand’s downfall. Ishant had 3 wickets to his name, while Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja walked away with two and one respectively.
Shami Spearheads India’s Rout of New Zealand
India’s pace trio hit the straps after a slight drizzle delayed the scheduled start by half an hour. Shami provided the breakthrough early with Ross Taylor (11) chipping a drive to cover. Shortly thereafter, Ishant Sharma had Henry Nicholls (7) edging to second slip before Shami castled BJ Watling (1) neck and crop.
New Zealand headed into Lunch at 135/5, with Williamson taking as many as 100 balls to score his 15 runs before the break. Forthwith, Shami trapped Colin de Grandhomme (13) plumb before bouncing out Kyle Jamieson (21) to claim his 4th scalp of the innings. Tim Southee smashed two boundaries and a maximum in his 30 to push New Zealand over India’s first-innings total of 217.
India heaved a huge sigh of relief as Ishant got the better of Williamson, and wiping the tail out from there onwards wasn’t a hassle. Neil Wagner nicked Ashwin to slip for a duck and Southee was the last man to bite the dust, knocked over by Jadeja.
Earlier on Day 3, openers Devon Conway (54) and Tom Latham (30) shared a stoic 70-run partnership to lay a solid foundation for New Zealand. Latham threw away a start as he drove in the air off Ashwin while Conway’s was a soft dismissal, flicking uppishly to mid-wicket.
The start of Day 5 was also delayed due to rain but the weather forecast for the rest of the day does not feature any showers with 91 overs of play expected to take place. There is another day left in this Test courtesy ICC’s provision for a Reserve Day for the WTC final.
Yesterday, Day 4 was a replica of the opening day, washed out all ends up by merciless drizzle. And uninterrupted action is the need of the hour if a result is to be drawn out of this rain-marred summit clash. Just for the record, the WTC mace will be shared among the two captains in the event of a tie, which seems highly probable as things stand.
Given the oodles of time wasted, it’s wise to tell you about the reserve day tomorrow. It will be about compensating for the lost overs and not about "trying to force a result", so bear that in mind. The power of bringing the reserve day into play rests with the umpires and the final call will be taken by them an hour before the scheduled close of play today.
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