The third day of the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand ended with both teams sharing the equation. After bundling out the Virat Kohli-led side for 217, the Black Caps started pretty steadily, with openers Tom Latham and Devin Conway made Indian bowlers run for their money.
Latham and Conway showed spectacular grit and stood tall against the top-quality Indian pace attack featuring the likes of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. The duo didn’t score many runs but firmed their respective ends and passed out the challenging spells.
Following the history, when the Indian team couldn’t make the initial breakthrough, captain Kohli gave the ball to his star spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who also took his time to draw the first blood. Ashwin dismissed set batsman Latham in the 35th over when the batter tried to play the cover drive but ended up finding a fielder at short-cover. Latham scored 30 runs from 104 deliveries, including three boundaries.
After Latham’s dismissal, Conway and Kiwi captain Kane Williamson took charge to form another strong stand. Conway showed immense patience, which rewarded him in the 44th over when he smashed the first fifty of the match.
The left-handed batter flicked a ball off Bumrah to pick three runs and reached the special feat. But little did he know that his trademark flick shot would become the reason for his dismissal.
It all happened in the 49th over bowled by veteran seamer Ishant Sharma. The right-armer bowled around the pads, and Conway flicked the ball, but it went straight to mid-on where Shami was stationed. Shami made no mistake as he stretched himself to grab the catch to give India a reason to finish the day with heads high. New Zealand posted 101/2 on the scoreboard with Williamson and Ross Taylor at the crease.
Earlier, India were packed at 217, courtesy of Kyle Jamieson’s splendid bowling. Jamieson picked up the fifth fifer of his Test career and dominated the proceedings in the first session. For India, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane made 49 off 117 balls, while Kohli scored 44 from 132 deliveries.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
Today the average run rate for the whole day has been 2.27, but inspite of that what a riveting days test cricket, the ebbs and flows . Classic test cricket , with the ball dominating the bat thanks to proper English conditions .#WTCFinal2021
— DK (@DineshKarthik) June 20, 2021
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) June 20, 2021
India need to come back strongly in this test match after a day that belonged entirely to New Zealand. There is enough time left in this game for a result.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) June 20, 2021
#TeamIndia 🇮🇳 strike at the stroke of Stumps on Day 3️⃣
Ishant picks half-centurion Conway 👌🏻
New Zealand 🇳🇿 lose 2️⃣ wickets
Day 4️⃣ promises to be an exciting one tomorrow #WTC21
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 20, 2021
Most runs by a New Zealand player in first 5 men's Test innings of career:-
360 – Devon Conway in 2021
314 – Stewie Dempster in 1930
312 – James Neesham in 2014
Until today, Stewie Dempster was the only player at top of this list throughout New Zealand's Test history.#WTCFinal
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) June 20, 2021
Stumps, Day 3️⃣: Conway's dismissal just before bad light stopped play means 🇮🇳 will be raring to go tomorrow morning! 💪🏼
— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) June 20, 2021
A late strike for Ishant will keep the spirits high in the Indian camp on a day that belonged to New Zealand.
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) June 20, 2021
Let's come back stronger to break through the rest of the @BLACKCAPS unit tomorrow, lads 🇮🇳
— The Bharat Army (@thebharatarmy) June 20, 2021
Ishant strikes just at the stroke of Stumps to help #TeamIndia end the day on a high 💪
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) June 20, 2021
How much India would have wanted that last 30 mins. 101-2 could easily be 4. That’s the beauty of Test cricket.
Let’s enjoy and be patient whenever we get play tomorrow. There is a lot lot lot left.
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) June 20, 2021
So annoying to lose that last half hour. This is cricket befitting of a World Cup Final. The world’s best two teams battling in exceptionally challenging conditions. The low run rate is testament to how hard each team is being made to work for runs. #INDvNZ #WTC21
— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) June 20, 2021
— ICC (@ICC) June 20, 2021