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World Test Championship

The moments that defined the World Test Championship Final

WTC Final

A fascinating ICC World Test Championship Final saw both teams play an extremely high standard of cricket for long stretches, with the two bowling attacks particularly impressive.

We take a look at the seven moments that defined New Zealand’s sixth-day victory.

Jamieson gets Kohli without adding to his overnight score

With rain and bad light limiting play early in the Test, it was imperative for India to score big in their first innings. And, with captain Virat Kohli unbeaten on 44 and his side well-placed on 146/3 at the resumption of day three, the direction of the match was to be set on that third morning.

However, it was not the Indian skipper who proved the dominant force but New Zealand’s Kyle Jamieson, with the towering quick removing Kohli before the No. 4 had added to his overnight score.

And Jamieson’s scalp – the second of what proved to be seven in a Player of the Match performance – started a collapse that saw India add just 71, missing the chance to take control of the Test.

Video cwc19 20 Jun 21
Kyle Jamieson's fifth Test five-for | WTC21 Final | Ind v NZ

 

Conway accumulates the Test’s top score to lay solid platform

Devon Conway’s circumspect 54 off 153 balls wasn’t a thrilling knock, but it was exactly what his team needed at the time.

Conway has followed up 200 on Test debut at Lord’s with fifties in his two Tests since, and he showed impressive mental fortitude to cope with the pressure of a World Test Final so early in his international career.

The New Zealand opener’s half-century laid a platform for his side to take a first-innings lead, and proved to be the highest individual score across all four innings.

Lower-order hitting boosts New Zealand into a first-innings lead

Mohammad Shami’s brilliant bowling threatened to leave New Zealand with a first-innings deficit, but Jamieson and Tim Southee had other ideas.

Between them they added 51 runs in 62 balls as the tail wagged – a speed of scoring that was completely out of keeping with the majority of the Test.

Without those runs it would have been India who had the momentum going into their second innings. As it was, those runs made a massive difference to the outcome of the Final.

Southee’s in-dipper and Rohit’s misjudged leave switches momentum

If India could have got to the close on day five without losing both of their openers, then they’d have been in a terrific position to dictate play on the reserve day. And it looked like they were on course to do just that, with Rohit Sharma playing a reserved innings to get to 30 from 80 balls.

But, just as it looked like the day was drifting to a close, Southee got a ball to hoop back in, leaving Rohit in all sorts of trouble as he shouldered arms. It was a huge misjudgement from the batter, but a brilliant piece of bowling too, and it gave New Zealand the boost they needed to go into the final day with their tails up.

Video cwc19 22 Jun 21
Southee removes Rohit | WTC21 Final | Ind v NZ

Jamieson gets Kohli again

While Kohli was at the crease it felt like India could be confident of securing a draw at the very least, and potentially even play on to set a challenging target late in the reserve day.

But Jamieson had the wood over Kohli in this match, and a brute of a rising delivery that moved slightly away from the India captain managed to find the edge.

The bowler’s celebration said it all: that wicket was the start of New Zealand’s march to victory on day six, and he knew it.

Pant falls to leave the target within reach

As long as Rishabh Pant was out in the middle, India still had hope. A slightly frenetic and two-paced innings from the wicketkeeper-batter had New Zealand concerned for a while, and if he had batted on for even another half hour then the chase could have been beyond the Black Caps’ reach.

It took a terrific grab to remove him too, with Henry Nicholls doing superbly to keep his composure and take a catch over his shoulder as he ran back from point. With Pant gone, India crumbled, and New Zealand’s target was a gettable one.

Williamson survives Ashwin’s off-spin assault

A target of 139 in 53 overs seemed comfortable in the end, but there was a period in the chase where it seemed anything but.

Picking two spinners this Test that had seen hadn’t proved all that useful for Kohli in the first five days. But that almost changed after tea on the reserve day, as Ravichandran Ashwin produced a spell of high-quality off-spin bowling that had New Zealand’s top order in all sorts of trouble.

Tom Latham was fooled by the flight and stumped by Pant for nine, and Devon Conway was trapped in front for 19 as Ashwin took two wickets early in the session.

But there was a moment between those two dismissals that proved pivotal. A fizzing delivery had Williamson in all sorts of trouble pressing forward, and Ashwin tore off across the square in celebration as the finger went up. But a worried-looking Williamson sent for the review, and from the very first replay it looked like line would be the issue for India. And so it proved, with the ball not turning back in enough, and ball-tracking agreeing that it would have gone on to slide wide of the stumps.

Had Williamson gone at that stage then the pressure would have been extreme on New Zealand’s middle order, increasing the chances of the match ending in a draw… or even Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja spinning India to an unlikely win.

But the captain survived, and he was still there at the close as Taylor’s shot crossed the boundary rope to clinch the World Test Championship for New Zealand.

Video cwc19 23 Jun 21
The NZ dressing room at the winning moment | WTC21 Final | Ind v NZ

 

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Standings

Group A

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 England 3 +1.045 6
2 Bangladesh 3 +0.000 3
3 Australia 3 -0.992 2
4 New Zealand 3 -1.058 1

Group B

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 India 3 +1.370 4
2 Pakistan 3 -0.680 4
3 South Africa 3 +0.167 2
4 Sri Lanka 3 -0.798 2

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