The inaugural edition of the World Test Championship (WTC) Final has been wrecked by untimely rains and till now, two days have been washed out without a ball being bowled. There was some play on day two and day three but rain lashed the third day and whole fourth day. However, the forecast for the remaining two days (Day 5 and Day 6 – reserved) and if we go by the history of Test matches in England, a result has been the case in rain affected games, where only 320 overs play has been possible.
Bumrah began the proceedings on Day 5 as he faced World’s no. 2 batsman Kane Williamson as was looking as sharp as ever. Bumrah beat Williamson’s outside edge once, when he lured Kane to play on front foot. Ishant joined Bumrah from the other end, facing Ross Taylor. The plan against Taylor was simple, which to exploit his weakness of getting trapped plumb in front. Ishant tried bowling those inswingers, hoping to beat the inside edge, but he found no luck in his opening over.
After a brief spell from Bumrah, skipper Kohli turned to his ace bowler Mohammed Shami, who showed good swing right from ball one. Shami beat Taylor’s outside edge and also troubled Kane Williamson in the same over. Ishant continued from the other end as the Indian bowlers were caught in a dilemma, whether to bowl more dot balls or some risky wicket-taking deliveries, owing to the paltry total of 217 posted by their batsmen.
Ishant and Shami kept asking questions to Williamson and Taylor and the latter two had every answer as they kept batting safely till drinks. However, Shami just managed to make Taylor drive on the fuller ball and the batter fell in the trap as he holed out to a diving Shubman Gill at short cover.
Post that Ishant snapped up the wicket of Henry Nicholls, who poked at one well outside off. Shami followed it up by dismissing BJ Watling and also sent Colin de Grandhomme packing, who was about to look threatening.
What followed post that was brutal hitting by Kyle Jamieson, who just took India’s best bowler Shami on and on. Kane Williamson, who was using a cautious approach, also found his roots and scored some runs. Jamieson was dismissed by Shami for a 16-ball 21. Tim Southee then along with Williamson took New Zealand beyond India’s total and just when New Zealand were looking to take the game away from India, Ishant Sharma returned among wickets with the priceless wicket of New Zealand skipper and India were back in the game.
Here’s the video: