New Zealand win World Test Championship defeating India
Two years after their heartbreak in the World Cup final at Lord’s, New Zealand returned to English soil and emerged triumphant, an eight-wicket victory over India meaning Kane Williamson’s men were crowned the inaugural world Test champions at the end of a dramatic sixth day that stirred the senses.
Gone was the miserable rain that pushed this showpiece into a reserve day, the sun smiling on Williamson as he lifted the ICC’s Test mace in Southampton. The Black Caps’ commitment to whole-hearted, ego-free cricket and a collective purpose delivered the silverware they so richly deserve.
This time there were no fluke deflections or obscure fine-print to deny them the glory, a fourth-innings target of 139 in 53 overs knocked off with seven to spare through a classy unbeaten 52 from Williamson, ice utterly running through his veins, and Ross Taylor’s typically grafted 47 not out from No 4.
Nerves still jangled during the final instalment of this low-scoring affair, never more so than when the probing Ravichandran Ashwin whipped the largely pro-India crowd into a frenzy with the removal of openers Tom Latham, stumped for nine, and Devon Conway, lbw on 19, with 95 runs still required.And a twist might have come had Cheteshwar Pujara not bungled a regulation catch at first slip off Taylor on 18 with 55 to go, Jasprit Bumrah the bowler denied. Instead the 37-year-old shrugged off the drop, plus a nasty blow to the head from the same bowler, as he and Williamson emulated compatriot Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay with a steadfast ascent to the summit.