• Sunday, July 21, 2024


New Zealand’s Jamieson takes five before openers frustrate India in World Test final

Kyle Jamieson of New Zealand appeals successfully for the wicket of Virat Kohli of India (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

By: Sarwar Alam

New Zealand’s Kyle Jamieson dismissed Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant in quick succession on his way to a superb five-wicket haul as India were bowled out for 217 in their first innings of the World Test Championship final at Southampton on Sunday.

Towering paceman Jamieson finished with miserly figures of 5-31 in 22 overs, including 12 maidens, for what was the 26-year-old’s fifth five-wicket haul in just eight career Tests.

At tea, New Zealand were 36-0, a deficit of 181 runs.

Tom Latham was 17 not out and Devon Conway, who marked his Test debut earlier this month with a double century against England at Lord’s, unbeaten on 18.

But Mohammed Shami, getting lift from a good length, was unlucky to hit the shoulder of both openers’ bats, only for the ball to balloon safely over the slip cordon on each occasion.

After a wet outfield delayed Sunday’s start by 30 minutes, India resumed on 146-3.

India captain Kohli was 44 not out and Ajinkya Rahane unbeaten on 29.

A combination of gloomy skies and a green-tinged pitch, which assisted an already formidable pace attack, made batting conditions extremely difficult.

Kohli, 10 years to the day since his Test debut against the West Indies in Kingston, had not added to his score when he fell to the eighth ball he faced Sunday.

The nearly 7ft (2.13 metres) tall Jamieson got a full-length delivery to nip back and strike the star batsman on the front pad.

Kohli reviewed Michael Gough’s decision but the English umpire’s ‘out’ verdict was upheld to end a stand of 61, with ball-tracking technology indicating the delivery would have hit the top of leg stump.

– Accuracy –

Such was New Zealand’s accuracy that Kohli’s 132-ball innings included just one boundary — a cover-driven four off left-armer Neil Wagner to get off the mark.

The usually free-scoring Pant needed 20 balls to get off the mark, with a four through midwicket off Jamieson.

Two balls later, however, Jamieson dismissed the wicketkeeper when Pant, unable to resist a full-length delivery that moved away, drove loosely outside off stump and was well caught at second slip by Latham.

Rahane had batted in composed fashion during an admirable 117-ball innings with five fours.

But, one run shy of a fifty, the vice-captain was cramped trying to pull a Wagner short ball and lobbed a simple catch to Latham, now at midwicket.

India’s 211-7 at lunch soon became 213-9 thanks to Jamieson, who had Ishant Sharma caught at first slip by Ross Taylor before next ball having another tailender in Jasprit Bumrah lbw with a well-directed yorker.

But No 11 Shami denied Jamieson a hat-trick with a cover-driven four worthy of a top-order batsman.

Left-arm quick Trent Boult had Ravindra Jadeja well caught down the legside by a diving wicketkeeper BJ Watling — in his last match before retirement — to end the innings.

Friday’s first day was washed out completely, but match referee Chris Broad has a special dispensation to extend this final into a sixth day if he feels that will compensate for time lost earlier in the game.

This match, the culmination of the inaugural World Test Championship that has spanned two years of series between the leading Test nations, is worth $1.6 million to the winners and $800,000 to the runners-up.

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