The fifth day of the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand ended with the Virat Kohli-led side dominating major parts of the day. After bundling out Black Caps for 249, India started pretty steadily, with openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill making runs at an economy rate of around 2.00.
However, Kiwi pacer Tim Southee had some other plans as he displayed some of the most remarkable bowling. The veteran speedster trapped youngster Gill in front during the 11th over of India’s second innings and drew the first blood. Gill made just 8 runs off 33 balls.
On the other hand, Rohit looked solid and was trying his best to tackle the top quality spells. But an error in judgement cost his wicket during the 27th over, just a few minutes before the stumps on the fifth day.
Southee set him up nicely with few outswingers, followed by a sharp incoming delivery. Rohit raised his shoulders and offered no shot, anticipating that the ball would move away. However, the red-leather nipped back in and hit Rohit’s pads, and the umpire wasted no time to give him out.
Before the officials announced the stumps, India had put up 64/2 on the scoreboard, leading New Zealand by 32 runs.
Earlier, New Zealand began the day with their overnight score of 101/2. However, they were reduced to 135/5 at lunch as Indian bowlers bowled some lethal spells to dominate the first session of the day.
Speedster Mohammad Shami led the pace attack by providing the initial breakthrough in the form of Ross Taylor (11). Soon Ishant Sharma joined the rally and sent back Henry Nicholls (7). Then, Shami continued his aggressive spell and cleaned up New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling (1) to keep India at the top at lunch.
Colin de Grandomme (13) showed his intentions from the word go, but a ripping in-swinger from Shami packed his innings. However, the Kiwi tail added quite a few vital runs to frustrate the Indians. The last four wickets added as many as 87 runs to help New Zealand a vital 32-run lead before bundling out for 249 runs.
Skipper Williamson stood tall against a top-quality Indian bowling attack in challenging conditions. He eventually fell one run short of his half-century as Ishant sent him back to the pavilion.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) June 22, 2021
Having seen how this Indian team goes about their Test cricket, you just know they’ll at least have one bold maneouvre up their sleeve for tomorrow, maybe Rishabh Pant walks out at No 5. Or maybe it’s just me still reeling from the hangover of that Australian tour #WTCFinal
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) June 22, 2021
The standard of the bowling in this Test match has been absurdly high
— Ben Jones (@benjonescricket) June 22, 2021
🇮🇳 end the day on 6️⃣4️⃣/2️⃣ with a lead of 3️⃣2️⃣.
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) June 22, 2021
Stumps. And full day of cricket on the cards tomorrow. Bring it on. Full respect to King Kohli not sending a night watchman out. That’s another level of class. 4:04am here, I can hear the birds chirping outside already: so good night from me family 😂♥️ #INDvNZ #WTC21
— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) June 22, 2021
Only six Tests in the ball tracking era (2006) have seen a lower Expected Balls Per Wicket (i.e. more threatening bowling) than this. None of the six have seen a higher Actual BpW (batsman surviving the bowling) than this one. This is stupidly high quality cricket. #INDvNZ #WTC21
— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) June 22, 2021
A day that completely belonged to the bowlers. 🇮🇳 are just 32 ahead with 8 wickets in hand. Will they bat quickly and push for a win or will we see a 𝐛𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐤𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐧? 👊
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) June 22, 2021
Jasprit Bumrah's bowling stats
Against New Zealand: 6 wickets at 41.16
Against teams not called New Zealand: 77 wickets at 21.36
Against New Zealand: 13 wickets at 36.84
Against teams not called New Zealand: 95 wickets at 23.75
— Michael Wagener (@Mykuhl) June 22, 2021
Draw most likely. NZ has a slim chance India little lesser. NZ bat 4th though under pressure in a final. Has been a top day of cricket. India bowled excellently to come back and then Rohit was good again before that dismissal which he will be upset with. Ah no shot offered!
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) June 22, 2021
Stumps in Southampton 🏏
— ICC (@ICC) June 22, 2021
Stumps, Day 5️⃣: 🇮🇳 – 64/2
We are headed into the reserve day after a day largely dominated by the bowlers.
— SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) June 22, 2021
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 22, 2021
This Test deserves a Day 7 of clear weather. So tantalizingly poised. Everything worthy of a big final, except not having enough time left to finish this the right way. Players quarantined for weeks to play this. Another reserve day or two wouldn't have done us any harm.
— cricBC (@cricBC) June 22, 2021
With a day’s play to go, #TeamIndia 🇮🇳 takes 32 runs lead in the second innings.
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) June 22, 2021
Virat Kohli has now the most runs in Semi-Final and Final in ICC tournaments, overtakes Kumar Sangakkara (531 runs).
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) June 22, 2021
STUMPS on Day 5. India 64/2 at the close of play and 32 runs ahead. Tim Southee with the two wickets to fall. Back tomorrow for the SIXTH and final day of the Test. Follow play LIVE in NZ with @skysportnz with highlights on @sparknzsport. Card | https://t.co/9M1mvODiZ3 #WTC21 pic.twitter.com/1pgicmemTM
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) June 22, 2021
STUMPS, DAY 5️⃣
Rohit looked solid before an untimely dismissal courtesy of Southee.
Fans of both teams will wait with bated breath for the reserve day. #TeamIndia will have stalwarts Kohli and Pujara at the crease 🤜🏻🤛🏻
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) June 22, 2021