ICC WTC Final 2021: Twitter Reacts As New Zealand Assume Pole Position Against India At Stumps On Day 05

ICC WTC Final 2021: Twitter Reacts As New Zealand Assume Pole Position Against India At Stumps On Day 05

India, New Zealand, Tim Southee, Shubman Gill
Southee dismisses Gill to claim his 600th international wicket [Image-Getty]

The wicket of Rohit Sharma in the closing stages of play has put New Zealand in the driving seat on what was yet another day of enthralling Test match cricket with India finishing the day with an overall lead of 32 and eight wickets in the bank.

With just two days remaining in the WTC final, India desperately needed early wickets to give themselves the best possible chance to win. The Indian pacers were disciplined in the first hour but Jasprit Bumrah was a bit guilty of bowling it a touch short.

Ishant Sharma, on the other hand, rightly targeted Ross Taylor’s pads but he too was guilty of bowling it on the leg stump.

Once again Mohammed Shami proved to be the pick of India’s bowlers as he regularly beat the batters past the outside edge.

However, unlike day 03, Shami altered his length and bowled it a bit fuller and the rewards came swiftly.

 

It all happened during the 68th over of the innings as he once again bowled it on a fullish length to lull Ross Taylor into a drive.

ICC WTC Final: Mohammed Shami Dismisses Ross Taylor As Shubman Gill Takes A Stunning Diving Catch At Short Cover - Watch Video
ICC WTC Final: Mohammed Shami Dismisses Ross Taylor As Shubman Gill Takes A Stunning Diving Catch At Short Cover – Watch Video

And, Shubman Gill did the rest by taking a superb diving catch at the short-cover region.

The Indian bowlers kept the pressure on the New Zealand batters by giving nothing away and they were eventually rewarded as Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami knocked over Henry Nicholls and BJ Watling within a space of 2 overs to bring India back into the ascendancy.

Ishant induced an ill-fated drive from Nicholls and Rohit Sharma did the rest by claiming a brilliant catch in the slip cordon.

Shami then backed it up with an absolute peach to dislodge BJ Watling’s stumps with a delivery that straightened off the seam, leaving New Zealand reeling at 5/135 at Lunch.

India, New Zealand, ICC WTC Final: Mohammed Shami Knocks Over BJ Watling With A Jaffa - Watch Video
ICC WTC Final: Mohammed Shami Knocks Over BJ Watling With A Jaffa – Watch Video

New Zealand managed just 34 runs and lost 3 crucial wickets in 23 overs.

Mohammed Shami once again proved to be the go-to guy for Team India as he knocked over the dangerous-looking Colin de Grandhomme with another unplayable inswinger.

India immediately took the new ball when it was available and Shami struck gold in just his 2nd over with the new cherry. The right-hander went wide of the crease and angled it into De Grandhomme.

The New Zealand all-rounder got caught stuck on the crease and pinned plumb in front after the ball hit his back leg.

Kyle Jamieson, New Zealand, ICC Final
Kyle Jamieson (Image Credit: Twitter)

But once again the lower order proved to be India’s nemesis. Kyle Jamieson scored a 21-ball 16 which also included the first six of the WTC final.

He eventually holed out against Shami at deep backward Square leg but the damage had been done.

Kane Williamson, along with Tim Southee, took New Zealand past India’s first innings but he failed to get his half-century (49 off 177 balls) as he dabbed at a wide delivery from Ishant Sharma straight to Virat Kohli in the slip cordon.

Ashwin got rid of Neil Wagner soon thanks to Rahane,  who claimed a brilliant catch at 1st slip but Tim Southee (30 off 46 balls) stroked some lusty blows to ensure that New Zealand claimed a 32-run lead.

India needed a solid start from its openers but unlike the first innings, the duo of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma couldn’t stitch the 50-run-stand thanks to Tim Southee, who trapped the former plumb in front at the score of 24.

Rohit Sharma once again impressed with his manner in which he left the ball outside the off-stump and his patience against the seam and swing generated by the New Zealand seamers.

Rohit followed the good old strategy to counter the moving ball in English conditions: watch the ball early and play it late.

Sharma and Pujara wiped out the 32-run trail but just as it looked that the former was warming up for a big score, Tim Southee plotted his downfall at the fag end of the day.

ICC WTC Final 2021: Twitter Reacts As New Zealand Assume Pole Position Against India At Stumps On Day 05
Tim Southee after dismissing Rohit Sharma [Image-Twitter]
It was a perfect set-up by Southee, who bowled a few outswingers before getting one to jag back into Rohit.

In what a brain fade moment, Rohit proceeded to shoulder arms and the ball thudded into his pads.

Sharma departed for an 81-ball 30.  Virat Kohli survived a few nervy moments against Tim Southee but he ensured that he stayed unbeaten as India went to stumps at 2/64 in 30 overs.

 

 

Here’s how Twitter reacted:

Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.