Follow Scroll.in’s full coverage of the WTC Final here.
12.25 am: So, two ICC events in the last 2 years that have slipped away from Virat Kohli and India due to a under-par batting performance against New Zealand (on a reserve day, no less). That must sting. As brilliant as New Zealand were, today should really have ended in a draw. But take nothing away from how good India have been in this cycle. And they can look forward to another shot at beating England in England soon. The headlines belong to the Black Caps. A five-day Test that ends on the sixth day to crown the first World Champion. New Zealand on the right side of a bizarre cricket thing. About time, eh? Thanks for joining us over the past few days.
Some snippets from the post-match press conference...
Rishabh is going to be an expressive player. He usually judges situations well. But when things don’t go well, you can call it an error in judgement but we will back him to play the way he plays because that is his USP.
We know that as a batting unit if we put up 300 on the board it will be a different pressure on the opposition because of how good our bowling unit is.
Not in absolute agreement over deciding the World Test champions in one match. It has been a three-Test series, a test of character, ebb and flow. Can’t be about a team playing well for two days.
When you have been a top side for two years in a row, you don’t want to drop our standards suddenly. We will have a conversation about the middle order. We will reassess and re-plan to bring in the right people.
I truly believe we didn’t put Jamieson under pressure. But that is down to his consistency. For a tall guy, he didn’t miss his length.
If you saw the way the game went… why wouldn’t you want to see the teams battle it over two more Tests? Historically, we remember series’ over three or five Tests.
The press conferences are going on. A few updates shortly.
Virat Kohli (Via BCCI match-center):
“First up, big congratulations to Kane and the whole team. They showed great consistency and heart to pull out a result in just over three days, sticking to their processes to put us under pressure. They deserved the win. The first day got washed out, and when play resumed it was difficult to get any momentum.
“We lost only three wickets, but we could have got more runs if play had gone on without the interruptions. Today, the Kiwi bowlers executed their plans to perfection and pushed us back, and we were probably 30 or 40 runs short. You need to have a fast-bowling allrounder for that. We’ve been successful with this combination in different conditions. We thought this was our best combination, and we had batting depth as well, and if there was more game time, the spinners would have come into the game more as well.
“Jamieson is a quality cricketer. He hits really good areas with the ball and he’s a gutsy batsman as well. He’s had a great game and thoroughly deserved to be Man of the Match. It’s great for the game, the more the Test format is given importance, and the Test format is the heartbeat of the international format. We’re looking forward to the long summer ahead. We’ve got the squad and the quality to do something special.”
Kane Williamson (Via BCCI match-center):
“Very special feeling, a couple of close ones in ICC finals, nice to get one under the belt. I’d like to thank Virat and the Indian team, they’re an incredible team, we know how much of a challenge it would be.
It was great, the heart our team showed to get across the line, great Test match. I’ve been part of NZ cricket for a short while, it’s a very special feeling, the first time in our history we’ve come away with a world title. We’ve had 22 players over the last two years, and they’ve all played their part and the support staff and the guys who played this match, it’s a special achievement to be savoured. We know we don’t always have the stars, we rely on other bits and pieces to stay in the game and be competitive.
We saw a lot of heart and commitment to our style of cricket in this game, we know how strong this Indian side is, in all conditions. It’s not always easy in a final, a one-off Test match, we respect that, and throughout all six days, it ebbed and flowed, no one really got the upper hand, and it came to the last day which was great for the fans. That was tough batting in the first innings. Amazing attack, they don’t give you much to hit.
We saw a lot of heart from the lower order who came in and tried to inch us into some sort of lead. It was a very sporting surface, and having only four days’ cricket, there was always a chance of a result. Ross is very experienced and very calm in those sort of situations, it was nice to be in partnership with Ross and be there at the end.
A special feeling we haven’t had before. I don’t know if Watling’s retiring anymore, actually! He’s a special member, a leader in our group, and really epitomises our team. A scrappy performance, which is close to his heart, because he’s a scrappy player. A great occasion to celebrate, a great game of cricket, and obviously a great career which we’ll celebrate.”
Virat Kohli (not verbatim): Congratulations to Kane and his team. They showed great consistency and heart to put out a result in three days. Credit to them that they could stick to their processes long enough to beat us. We came to the conclusion that this was out best XI. For balance, we needed a fast-bowling allrounder. We all decided this was our best team. Could have turned more if the overs were played. A long summer ahead but we definitely have the squad and quality to do something special.
Player of the match: Kyle Jamieson, for his - pardon the pun - standout performances.
The presentation ceremony begins.
Ross Taylor: Still sinking in. It has been a long way… a couple of years coming…. To be out there… something I will never forget. It will have to be the highlight of my career.
Zenia D’Cunha: Ross Taylor, in a pre-final PCs, said that he may have retired had New Zealand won the 2019 World Cup. Two years later, he hits the winning runs as New Zealand win the first WTC, fittingly in England. What a journey this team has gone through, well deserved.
New Zealand win by 8 wickets. Ross Taylor flicks one over square leg. And Kane Williamson watches on from the non-striker’s end, followed by a fist-bump. And then an embrace between the captains. Joy in the NZ dressing room.
NEW ZEALAND ARE WORLD TEST CHAMPIONS! Ross Taylor finishes it off in style.
New Zealand need four runs to win.
Zenia D’Cunha: Even the gods are smiling on Kane Williamson, said one of the commentators. Gets dropped after a frankly stupid shot on 47, gets to the half-century he missed in the first innings. After all those ICC events, the cricket gods indeed seem to be for New Zealand this.
Ishant Sharma is off the field after taking a blow to his finger. India will hope that’s not anything serious.
HALF CENTURY FOR CAPTAIN KANE! Kane Williamson must have thought to himself “if luck is on my side today, then this won’t be caught” and just went for a massive hoick. The skier is put down by Bumrah and then he reaches a half century with a four through leg side. India are just not in this match mentally anymore, unfortunately.
Shami back for a final burst.
NZ 125/2 after 43 overs (Target: 139) It is nice and bright but NZ not taking any chances. Finishing this off quickly here. 10 runs in the Ishant Sharma over.
NZ 115/2 after 42 overs (Target: 139) Five dot balls followed by a elegant drive through midwicket for four. Williamson is just doing as he pleases at the moment, how rude! (/s)
NZ 111/2 after 41 overs (Target: 139) Ishant comes back, falls over once in his followthrough for customary purposes. A couple of lovely deliveries in that over too.
Vinayakk Mohanarangan: The easiest thing to say tonight would be “nice guys finish first”. But this is a New Zealand team that has been really good in ICC events in the last few years & now winning the title they have deserved for the cricket they played. So hopefully the focus is on that
NZ 109/2 after 40 overs (Target: 139) After a series of soft-touch defensive strokes, Williamson brings out the classy cover drive in Bumrah’s over. A couple of singles in the next.
We are into the final hour. NZ need 34 runs. 15 overs remaining. Question is, any more twists?
NZ 104/2 after 38 overs (Target: 139) Time for one last drinks break. The game has gone the distance but unfortunately for India, they simply did not do enough with the bat. Imagine if they had added 30-40 more runs and had batted for 30 minutes longer. It’s probably what’s going through Kohli’s mind right now, you’d think.
NZ 100/2 after 37 overs (Target: 139) 100 comes up for NZ with yet another four down the fine leg region (most of them have come off Bumrah too). India trying to slow things down a bit.
NZ 96/2 after 36 overs (Target: 139) Fifty partnership has come up between two of New Zealand’s greatest. Williamson brings it up with a sweep for four.
Rishabh Pant is back to keep wickets by the way.
NZ 92/2 after 35 overs (Target: 139) Testing over from Bumrah but negotiated by Taylor with a couple of bruises to his body. 18 overs to go, NZ 47 to win.
NZ 92/2 after 34.4 overs (Target: 139) Ouch! A good length ball from Bumrah rises awkwardly at Taylor. A break in play but the Kiwi star is fine. The pitch has misbehaved on the odd occasion but it is all too late in the match from India’s point of view now.
Does Kane Williamson know what pressure is? He has just played the most ridiculous cover drive for four to reduce the equation to 50 runs. If there any sort of tightness in his mind or body, he could not have possibly played that shot. Brilliance.
Ashish Magotra: If Rahane is so good in the slips to the spinners, why is he not a permanent fixture in the position even when the pacers are bowling?
DROPPED! It’s perhaps too late to say “dropped the mace, mate” but that’s a costly miss by India. Bumrah bowls a peach to draw the outside edge from Taylor. It’s as simple a chance to Pujara at first slip as one could have hoped for. And it’s down. Almost hits the helmet too. NZ 85/2 after 31 overs.
NZ 84/2 after 30 overs (Target: 139) Not long, with spin from both ends. Williamson plays the most delicious of cut shots for a four off Jadeja.
Bumrah, who has had a disappointing match so far, has one more chance to do something special for his side. (Because really, the match is as good as done at the moment barring a miracle).
Spin from both ends. Wriddhiman Saha is now keeping wickets for India.
NZ 74/2 after 28 overs (Target: 139) India unable to build pressure like they did before the drinks break, all credit to New Zealand.
Jadeja for the first time in this innings.
NZ 70/2 after 27 overs (Target: 139) Another boundary for Taylor through the offside. This is a little gem of an innings by the NZ veteran. Cut away in Ishant’s over as NZ reach halfway point.
NZ 65/2 after 26 overs (Target: 139) Ashwin keeps things tidy, helped by the spread field. Change of bowling, Ishant from the other end.
There are fielders on the boundary line now to save boundaries. A mini win for New Zealand, and the actual win is closer.
NZ 64/2 after 25 overs (Target: 139) A boundary an over keeps the nerves away for NZ and their fans. Lovely shot by Williamson, punched through cover for four.
NZ 60/2 after 24 overs (Target: 139) And there is a definite gear change! Stand and deliver from Taylor over midwicket, followed by a cover drive. Those two fours sandwiched by a beauty from Ashwin that beats Taylor all ends up. But that’s a great over for NZ. Pressure definitely eases. India would have to think about defending now?
NZ 52/2 after 23 overs (Target: 139): Is that a signal of intent from NZ? Taylor is going for the shots. Shami offers width twice. One is a bump-ball to Jadeja that makes many think it’s a catch. Then cut away for four.
NZ have played 21 dots in a row. Time for a drinks break. Phew!
NZ 46/2 after 20 overs (Target: 139):
Perhaps time to keep an eye on the required rate too?
Ashish Magotra: New Zealand need 93 runs. They have 8 wickets in hand. 33 overs to get them in. But can you feel the tension? Test cricket, eh? Bloody hell.
NZ 46/2 after 20 overs (Target: 139): Shami and Ashwin are India’s best bets at the moment, it feels like. Shami keeping Williamson on his toes. Gripping stuff.
NZ 44/2 after 18 overs (Target: 139): Such high pressure and who do New Zealand have in the middle? Probably the most nerveless man in cricket right now. Williamson holds the key, to state the obvious perhaps. Another good over from Ashwin and the crowd are fully into this at the moment. Terrific stuff. 35 overs left today.
Over 17.2: WICKET! Ashwin. Left-hander. Wicket. AGAIN! What a bowler. This is a slider, it looks like. Going with the angle from around the wicket. Conway plays for the wrong line, given out LBW. Not reviewed after a long discussion. NZ 44/2.
NZ 42/1 after 16 overs (Target: 139): How does Williamson respond to that high adrenaline moment? A calm push through covers for three.
WILLIAMSON SAFE: Delight for Ashwin and Co as Williamson is given out LBW. The NZ captain went for a sweep, missed it. But the ball misses leg stump. Joy for India shortlived. A rare mishap for umpire Gough too in this match.
NZ 39/1 after 15 overs (Target: 139): The toil continues for Bumrah. Tries a bouncer, Conway dismisses it out of sight with ease for four. The pacer comes back well with a nasty rising good length delivery but those sort of moments have been few and far between for him.
Over 13.3: WICKET! Not dissimilar to the shot Latham played to send a leading edge looping over Ashwin a while back. He comes down the track again, trying to get to the pitch of the ball. But Ashwin shortens his length, the ball straightens away from Latham. Stumped. Ashwin’s love-affair with left-handers continues. Hope for India?
NZ 33/0 after 13 overs (Target: 139): Massive over for New Zealand as Bumra continues to struggle. Latham starts off with a drive on the up for three and Conway finishes it off an even better version for four. Super shot. There were four leg byes too in that over.
NZ 22/0 after 12 overs (Target: 139): Pant is taking over the audio feed as Ashwin finishes a second over, a maiden. Plenty of chirping! Good over too, kept Conway pinned. Hint of drift and turn from around the wicket a couple of times there.
NZ 21/0 after 10 overs (Target: 139): Latham almost gifted his wicket away off the last ball. Came down the track, got a leading edge that just cleared Ashwin. The off-spinner got him in the first innings too.
R Ashwin into the attack.
NZ 19/0 after 9 overs (Target: 139): Bumrah to start off the session for India. A bit of a surprise. One would have imagined Kohli would go with either Ishant or Shami.
Teams are back on the field and we are all set for the kind of last session that only Test cricket can throw up.
Some tea-time reading for you. (Or, perhaps, a distraction). One month to go for Tokyo 2020, folks.
TEA: NZ 19/0 after 8 overs (Target: 139)
Hoping for a miracle India fans?
TEA: NZ 19/0 after 8 overs (Target: 139)
As untroubled a phase of play as the NZ openers could have hoped for. A couple of oohs and aahs from India, but largely non-threatening. New Zealand sitting pretty, with history in sight. One more session to go!
NZ 19/0 after 7 overs (Target: 139): Four and beaten! Bumrah goes straight, Conway glances fine for four. The pacer comes back with a fine delivery to beat the batsman on the angle. Still, not much happening for the Indian bowlers. Not too threatening anyway.
NZ 14/0 after 6 overs (Target: 139): Well, the runs are indeed flowing. A terrific straight drive from Conway in Shami’s over. Definitely not the start India would have hoped for. This game could slip away quickly. And Kohli will hope Bumrah can find some form.
NZ 10/0 after 5 overs (Target: 139): The runs are flowing! Well, sort of. Still edgy cricket but five runs in that Ishant over.
NZ 5/0 after 4 overs (Target: 139): Kohli is conducting the crowd now, and they are responding. Good atmosphere but one that will become flat if the situation remains wicketless for a bit longer. Four leg byes in that over as Shami errs on his line.
NZ 1/0 after 3 overs (Target: 139): Another maiden over from Ishant, this time to Conway. Dinesh Karthik reckons India must take NZ to a point where they find it hard to believe they can do this. Reckon that can only happen with a few early wickets, saving runs is now perhaps not that useful for the Indian bowling attack.
NZ 1/0 after 2 overs (Target: 139): Nice rhythm from Shami, which is good to see. Starts off with a bouncer for Conway and then brings a couple back into Latham but left well on length. India not attacking the stumps early on, perhaps mindful of getting hit for runs too soon.
Shami from the other end. Not Bumrah, not Ashwin. Expectedly, given how well he bowled in the first innings.
NZ 0/0 after 1 over (Target: 139): A probing first over from Ishant to Latham. As expected plenty of chirping to start with from the Indian camp.
Ishant Sharma will start. Around the wicket to Tom Latham.
Indian players in a huddle. This team has shown in the past they can come back from near improbable situations. Will this be one hurdle too difficult?
Ind 170 all out after 73 overs: WICKET! Bumrah gone for a duck as Southee gets another wicket. NZ need 139 to win the ICC World Test Championship and they have 53 overs to get them. A stunning bowling effort by the Kiwis again.
Ind 170/9 after 72.2 overs: WICKET! Latham, at fly slip, takes the catch, Shami (13) goes. Southee gets another. They just moved the fielder then and it worked like a charm. Shami was trying to smash everything out of the park and this was bound to happen sooner rather than later.
Ind 166/8 after 72 overs: India are 134 runs ahead. They need more. Plenty more but they are probably not going to get as much as they want.
Ind 164/8 after 71 overs: Two fours in the Southee over and both coming off Shami’s bat. The first was an authentic square cut and then a superb pull shout. Every run counts. India lead by 132 runs.
Ind 156/8 after 69.4 overs: WICKET! Ashwin edges that to the slips to end an edgy innings. Boult gets another one in the over. India are crumbling here. Played one too many shots. Not what India needed.
Ind 156/7 after 69.2 overs: WICKET! PANT! PANT PANT! He went for a big one, got the top edge and Henry Nicholls ran back a fair bit to take a superb catch. The catch of the summer given what is at stake. Pant made 41 and he seemed pissed after the dismissal. He should be. India lead by 124 runs.
Ind 156/6 after 69 overs: Southee into the attack as Wagner gets a break now. He has got a big wicket for them and now it is upto the others. If NZ get Pant, they will become huge favourites to win it all.
Ind 155/6 after 68 overs: Steady stuff from Jamieson who has bowled 24 overs for just 30 runs and taken two wickets too.
Ind 154/6 after 67 overs: Another ‘short’ over from Wagner. But not quite on target. Ashwin moving across his stumps to counter the ball bowled into the ribs. Needs to be careful of the match pitched up. Becomes an LBW candidate.
Ind 147/6 after 66 overs: Maiden over by Jamieson, a few plays and misses by Ashwin, who has looked slightly edgy.
Ind 147/6 after 65 overs: Wagner going after Ashwin with the short ball. Williamson has the field for it. Two fielders in the deep. Another one at short-leg and another at square leg. But Ashwin is trying to take on the short ball. An ego battle?
Ind 143/6 after 64 overs: Jamieson continues to keep things very tight from one end. Ashwin leaving the ball well.
Ind 142/6 after 62.5 overs: WICKET! Wagner’s short balls do the trick in another way. So far everything had been into ribs. Then, he finally pitched one up and outside the off-stump. Jadeja (16 off 49) couldn’t resist the temptation, poked at it and edged it to the keeper. India lead by 110 runs.
Ind 142/5 after 61 overs: Jamieson still looking to pitch it up but batting seems to be easier now. Pant and Jadeja are looking to make sure they keep the scoreboard ticking.
Ind 138/5 after 61 overs: Wagner in short-ball mode. Everything is short and into the ribs of the two left-handers.
Ind 137/5 after 60 overs: Nice battle on in the middle. The Kiwis are coming very hard at them. India aren’t holding back at all.
Ind 134/5 after 58 overs: Steady start to the session but for that Pant swipe. India look like they want to score runs.
Watling dislocated the ring finger in his right hander just before lunch but he continues to brave it out in the middle.
Ind 131/5 after 56 overs: Pant dances down the track to Jamieson after just one ball had been bowled in the session. This session might not be for the faint-hearted.
And we are back for the second session of the day. Will Pant and Jadeja stand firm? Will NZ get the wickets?
Ind 130/5 after 55 overs: And that is lunch. India have survived and but they will still want to be careful here. India lead by 98 runs. NZ have done well. We have 73 overs left in the day. This match is still very alive. NZ have the edge.
Ind 121/5 after 52 overs: Boult sent one onto Jadeja’s pads and he flicked it away for four. Immediately after the ball, Williamson removed one of the slips fielders and sent him into the outfield.
Ind 116/5 after 51 overs: Poor review by NZ against Pant. Wagner appealed for the LBW but it was clearly going down the leg-side.
Ind 109/5 after 50 overs: WICKET! Rahane (15 off 40) edges that down the leg-side. The worst way to go. Boult the bowler. India lead by 77 runs.
Ind 103/4 after 49 overs: Pant goes down the wicket to Wagner, gets the edge, goes past gully for four. Next ball, he tried the same thing and missed everything. The ball after that he was beaten all ends up while staying in his crease.
Ind 99/4 after 48 overs: Two runs from the Boult over, one play and miss and another where Rahane was clearly beaten.
Ind 97/4 after 47 overs: Maiden over by Wagner but an interesting battle developing between him and Pant. There seems to be a needle in the contest.
Ind 97/4 after 46 overs: Boult, like Bumrah for India, just hasn’t clicked in this match yet. The line, the length, the rhythm... it all seems to be lacking that little bit.
Double change. We have Boult from the other end. Two left-armers in operation for NZ
Ind 95/4 after 45 overs: Pant itching to start playing his shots. One, because he is comfortable doing that and two, because it might make the NZ bowlers bowl a little shorter. Came down the wicket and slammed Wagner down the ground. Three the kitchen sink at it.
Wagner into the attack now. A break for Southee.
Ind 89/4 after 44 overs: Jamieson with another maiden over after the break.
Ind 89/4 after 43 overs: Pant showing the right kind of intent. Just staying in the middle doesn’t mean much if you can’t score runs. He drives Southee down the ground for a four. Time for a drinks break.
Ind 85/4 after 42 overs: Maiden over by Jamieson. He is giving nothing away.
Ind 85/4 after 41 overs: A bit of a cat and mouse game in the middle between Pant and the Kiwi bowlers. The left-hander is trying to unsettle them. It hasn’t always worked though.
Ind 82/4 after 40 overs: DROPPED! Jamieson got the error from Pant but Southee at second slip fails to hold on to a regulation chance. Hit the hard part of the hands and popped out. Can Pant trust his defence or will he play his natural game? A big, big miss.
Ind 72/4 after 37.3 overs: WICKET! Jamieson again. This time Pujara (15 off 80) edges it to the slips. A nothing shot really.
Ind 72/3 after 37 overs: 30 minutes gone in the day and it has been a good 30 minutes for NZ. They have got the big wicket and with Rahane in the middle, they might be tempted to bring Wagner into the attack.
Ind 71/3 after 35.5 overs: WICKET! Jamieson continuing to impress. Got one to jag back into Kohli earlier in the over but the Indian skipper is standing way out of his crease to try and take the LBW out of the equation. A little later in the over, Kohli edges one through to the keeper. He pushed at the ball and is all the Kiwis needed. Loose shot. Soft dismissal and all that jazz. India in some trouble now. The pressure is on India.
Ind 71/2 after 35 overs: A maiden over by Southee. NZ putting a fielder in the short mid-on position, directly in front on Pujara.
Ind 71/2 after 34 overs: Another steady over by Jamieson, one run off it and we also had the first delivery to go past the bat today. Drew Kohli into the shot and beat the bat on the way to the keeper.
Ind 70/2 after 33 overs: Two runs from the Southee over. Kohli with a thickish edge past point. So far lesser movement available today for the seamers.
Ind 68/2 after 32 overs: No Boult from the other end. Williamson hands the ball over to Jamieson instead and he starts off with a maiden over.
Ind 68/2 after 31 overs: Southee, NZ’s best bowler yesterday, to start things off and he sent one onto Kohli’s legs and the Indian skipper clipped it away for three runs. Another single for Pujara off the last ball – clipped it but didn’t time it as well as Kohli. Important for India to scoring runs too. They don’t want to get into block mode.
The players are all set to take the field on a bright, sunny day. All results still possible.
A sight for sore eyes...
Essential reading ahead of day six:
2.30 pm: Hello and welcome to live coverage of day six of the ICC World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand in Southampton.