Southampton, Jun 23 (UNI) A brilliant performance by pacers and a composed run chase by Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor led New Zealand to historic inaugural World Test Championship title after beating India by 8 wickets on the sixth and final day of the marquee final, here on Wednesday.
New Zealand entered the reserve day of the Final in Southampton eyeing victory and their bowlers delivered in style to bowl India out for 170 before Williamson (52*) and Taylor (47*) steered a successful chase of 139 to secure a memorable win.
With India starting the day at 64 for two in their second innings, a lead of 32, all four results were still possible but the Black Caps’ pace quartet of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner combined to take the final eight wickets for the concession of just 106 more runs.
Chasing a target of 139 runs, skipper Williamson and Taylor put on a solid partnership and remained unbeaten for 52 and 47 respectively to guide New Zealand home.
Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin gave India a glimmer of hope by sending back both the Kiwis openers Tom Latham (9) and Devon Conway (19) but it was not enough.
After rain had wiped out two of the first five days of this Test match, the ICC implemented the use of its reserve day to increase the chances of a result, with 98 overs due to be bowled on day six.
This is the first major ICC trophy for the Black Caps, who had ended runners-up at the 2019 ODI World and the 2015 ODI World Cup as well.
With this win, Williamson became the second New Zealand captain to win a ICC trophy after Stephen Fleming (ICC Knockout Trophy) in 2000 as they chased down 139 on the sixth and final day in just over a session to be crowned the world champions in Test cricket at the Ageas Bowl.
”It’s a special feeling. It’s nice to get one under the belt. I’d like to thank Virat and the Indian team. The heart that our team showed was commendable. It’s the first time we have come away with a world title, and the 22 players who played a big part in getting across the line deserve all the appreciation,” Williamson said at the post-match presentation after the win.
”This will be remembered for a long time. We don’t always have all the stars, and we saw that in this match. We saw so much heart and commitment. We know how strong the Indian side is, in all conditions. It’s a fickle game, in a one-off final. It ebbed and flowed, no one really had the upper hand for six days, and I’m happy we’re on the right side of it,” he added.