IND vs NZ, WTC final: Tim Southee strikes twice, Rohit Sharma's 30 helps India lead by 32 at stumps on Day 5
The ICC World Test Championship 2019-21 final clash between India and New Zealand continues to get intense in Southampton. With most of the Test being rain-marred, Day 5 produced thrills and some real competitive Test cricket.
India managed to earn the lead back against New Zealand on Day 5 of the 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship final at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Tuesday. Opener Rohit Sharma played a clean knock of 30, while pacer Southee struck twice, as India leads by 32 runs.
Winning the toss, Williamson had asked India to bat first, as it was shot out for 217, thanks to Ajinkya Rahane's 49 and Kyle Jamieson's five-for. While the entire play on Day 1 was washed out, Day 4 witnessed the same fate.
After a 30-minute delayed start, the pair of Williamson and Ross Taylor took a slow charge of the innings from Day 3's score of 101/2 and mainly played defensively. At the same time, the Indian seamers moved the ball exceptionally well.
However, after over an hour's play and 16 runs later, Mohammed Shami struck first for the day, sending back Taylor for a mere 11 after being caught by Shubman Gill. In came Henry Nicholls and, along with Williamson, put up 17 runs together.
Nevertheless, Ishant Sharma hit this time, getting rid of Nicholls for just seven, who edged it to Rohit Sharma in the slips. Just a run later, in the next over, Shami punched again, knocking over wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling for a mere single. The pair of Williamson and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme then held their nerves until the lunch break, as the score read 135/5, while India leads by 82.
As the pair resumed the post-lunch session, it contributed to a 27-run stand for the sixth wicket before de Grandhomme was trapped leg-before to Shami for 13. Then, in came Jamieson and, along with Williamson, put up a 30-run stand for the seventh wicket.
However, at 192, Jamieson fell for 21 to Shami after a mistimed shot handed a catch to Jasprit Bumrah. Meanwhile, 21 runs later, Williamson fell a run short of his 33rd Test half-century, as Ishant made him caught by skipper Virat Kohli.
In came Tim Southee and went all guns blazing. Meanwhile, at 234, Neil Wagner fell for an unfortunate duck to off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin after being taken by Rahane.
Although Southee looked to continue his onslaught, he fell for 30 to Ravindra Jadeja, who bowled him up. Eventually, the tea break kicked in as NZ had a lead of 32 runs in possession.
As for the Indians so far, five bowlers were utilised. Shami was the most effective of all, claiming a four-for, while Ishant and Ashwin became the most economical of all.
As India came out to bat post tea, openers Rohit and Shubman Gill were going steady and contributed 24 runs before the latter fell for just eight to Southee after being trapped leg-before. In came Cheteshwar Pujara and, along with Rohit, contributed 27 more for the second wicket.
Just when Rohit seemed to be in good touch, Southee got similarly rid of him. It marked the arrival of Kohli, as with Pujara, the duo contributed 13 more to stay unbeaten at stumps, extending India's lead to 32 runs.
Considering New Zealand's bowling, four pacers have been utilised, with Southee being the most effective. Moreover, Jamieson, who claimed a fifer in the first innings, has been the most economical in this innings so far.
Brief scores: India 217 & 64/2 (Rohit- 30; Southee- 2/17) leads New Zealand 249 (Conway- 54, Williamson 49; Shami- 4/76, Ishant- 3/48) by 32 runs.
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