Kohli keeps NZ at bay in World Test final

AFP
June 20, 2021

SOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom: India captain Virat Kohli held firm in the face of accurate New Zealand pace bowling as the inaugural World Test Championship final at Southampton eventually got going...

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SOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom: India captain Virat Kohli held firm in the face of accurate New Zealand pace bowling as the inaugural World Test Championship final at Southampton eventually got going on Saturday.

After Friday´s first day was washed out without a ball bowled, India were 146-3 when the third of the day’s stoppages for bad light led to an early close.

Kohli was 44 not out, with the star batsman having hit just one boundary in 124 balls faced.

Meanwhile, Ajinkya Rahane was 29 not out after adding an unbroken 58 for the fourth wicket with Kohli.

Towering quick Kyle Jamieson ended the day with remarkable figures of 1-14 in 14 overs.

Only 64.4 overs out of 180 scheduled for the first two days have so far been bowled.

But under a special provision for this final, match referee Chris Broad can add an extra day onto the standard maximum five for a men´s Test if he decides such an extension is needed to compensate for time lost to bad weather earlier in the game.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss in overcast conditions that favoured his five-man pace attack.

But Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill batted impressively in an opening stand of 62.

India, however, lost three wickets either side of lunch to be 88-3.

Their position might have been worse had Kohli been given out caught behind down the legside off left-arm quick Trent Boult on 17.

But amid some on-field confusion, an umpire review led to replays that indicated Kohli had not hit the ball.

India´s openers made a fine start amid New Zealand´s swing and seam.

Rohit confidently clipped the first ball of the match, from Tim Southee, off his pads for three while Gill showed his class by driving Jamieson down the ground for four.

Rohit brought up the 50 partnership with a stylish cover-driven four off all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme.

The openers´ form was all the more impressive given this was India´s first Test since March whereas only last week New Zealand completed a 1-0 series win over England with an eight-wicket victory at Edgbaston.

But Rohit´s 68-ball innings, featuring six fours, ended when he edged a late-swinging delivery from Jamieson to third slip where Southee held an excellent low catch, diving to his right.

Score Board

New Zealand won toss

India 1st Innings

R. Sharma c Southee b Jamieson 34

S. Gill c Watling b Wagner 28

C. Pujara lbw b Boult 8

V. Kohli not out 44

A. Rahane not out 29

Extras (lb2, nb1) 3

Total (3 wkts, 64.4 overs) 146

To bat: R Pant, R Jadeja, R Ashwin, J Bumrah, I Sharma, M Shami

Fall: 1-62 (Rohit), 2-63 (Gill), 3-88 (Pujara)

Bowling: Southee 17-4-47-0; Boult 12.4-2-32-1; Jamieson 14-9-14-1; De Grandhomme 11-6-23-0; Wagner 10-3-28-1 (1nb)

New Zealand: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wkt), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult

Umpires: Michael Gough (ENG), Richard Illingworth (ENG)



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