WTC Final: India has the edge, but New Zealand’s position is strong, such was the thrill of the 5th day

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southamptonThe scheduled 5 days of play in the ICC World Test Championship title match between India and New Zealand are over. Now who will be the king of the test or both will be declared joint winner in case of draw. Its decision will be taken on 23 June i.e. Reserve Day. The first and fourth days of the match were completely washed out by rain, due to which the match had to be moved to the sixth day as well.

Saudi spoiled India’s game
Till the stumps of the 5th day, the Indian team scored 64 runs in their second innings for the loss of 2 wickets in 30 overs. Captain Virat Kohli (8), while Cheteshwar Pujara is unbeaten on 12 runs. Both openers Shubman Gill (8) and Rohit Shama (30) were dismissed LBW by Tim Southee, adding to the pressure on India. However, Team India has a lead of 32 runs. On the sixth day, India will try to score fast runs and give a safe target to the Kiwi team and then try to all out.

Thrill of New Zealand innings
Earlier, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma bowled brilliantly but captain Kane Williamson’s patience and Tim Southee’s attacking innings helped New Zealand take a first innings lead over India. New Zealand’s first innings ended on 249 runs just before the tea break on the fifth day. In this way he took a lead of 32 runs in the first innings. India had scored 217 runs in their first innings.

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Shanti bowling of Shami, Ishant and AshwinShami (4 for 76) made good use of the ‘seam’ to dodge the batsmen with his full length deliveries while Ishant Sharma (3 for 48) also bowled well. Ravichandran Ashwin (2 for 28) and Ravindra Jadeja (1 for 20) also took wickets but Jasprit Bumrah disappointed. The first session started late due to rain with 23 overs in which New Zealand scored only 34 runs and lost three wickets in the meantime.

Williamson’s Struggle
In the second session, he showed more pace and added 114 runs in 27.2 overs and lost the remaining five wickets. Opener Devon Conway scored 54 on the third day while skipper Kane Williamson made 49 off 177 balls but it was Southee who gave New Zealand a crucial lead after scoring 30 runs with the help of two sixes. Williamson showed respect to the bowlers and added only seven runs to his score in the first session.

Wickets fell like this again
He hit a four on Shami to give New Zealand the lead but Ishant’s outgoing ball at third man was caught by Virat Kohli at second slip and missed a half-century by one run. Shami gave India the first breakthrough of the day. He tempted Ross Taylor (11) to drive at full length and Shubman Gill dived at short cover to take a fine catch. Ishant then forced the dependable Henry Nicholls (7) to be caught at second slip. Shami bowled BJ Watling (one), playing his last Test match. Shami kept the pressure from one end even after lunch. He also sent Kyle Jamieson (21) to the crease with an aggressive attitude after getting Colin de Grandhomme (13) leg before. Jamieson tried to send the next short pitch ball to the boundary line after hitting a six off the first ball but Jasprit Bumrah beautifully converted it into a catch at long leg. Apart from Jamieson in the tail, Southee added useful runs. After Williamson was dismissed, he hit a six at long on in the next over from Ishant. He also sent Jadeja’s ball for six runs but the same spinner bowled him to end the Kiwi innings. The Indian bowlers were disappointed by Bumrah (57 not out in 26 overs) who bowled extremely short pitches and too many outside off-stumps, which former England captain Nasser Hussain said could not take wickets.

[Attribution to NBT]

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