New Zealand enjoyed the greatest triumph in their cricket history as they beat India by eight wickets in the inaugural World Test Championship final at Southampton on Wednesday.
Two years on from their agonising Super Over loss to England in the 50-over World Cup final at Lord’s, New Zealand’s men claimed their first major global title.
Set a victory target of just 139 in 53 overs, New Zealand finished on 140-2 with more than seven overs left after the match was extended into the reserve sixth day after two days’ play were completely washed out.
India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin reduced New Zealand to 44-2 after removing both openers.
But New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (52 not out) and Ross Taylor (47 not out), the team’s two most-experienced batsmen, shared an unbroken stand of 96 to seal victory.
The real damage was done by New Zealand’s all-pace attack, with India dismissed for just 170 in their second innings earlier Wednesday despite a rare sunny day in this match at the Hampshire Bowl providing the best batting conditions of the entire game.
Tim Southee took 4-48 in 19 overs, with Rishabh Pant (41) the only India batsman to manage a score above 30 in the innings.
This final marked the culmination of a two-year cycle of series to determine Test cricket’s first official world champions.
India 1st Innings 217 (K Jamieson 5-31)
New Zealand 1st Innings 249 (D Conway 54; Mohammmed Shami 4-76, Ishant Sharma 3-48)
India 2nd Innings 170 (T Southee 4-48, T Boult 3-39)
New Zealand 2nd Innings 140-2 (K Williamson 52 no)
Result: New Zealand won by eight wickets