WTC Final: Williamson, Taylor lead New Zealand to historic win in Southampton

India vs New Zealand WTC Final, Reserve Day Live Updates: Get the live cricket score updates between IND vs NZ from Ageas Bowl, Southampton.

Kane Williamson lead NZ towards a historic win in the WTC final.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's LIVE coverage of Day 6 of the World Test Championship Final between India and New Zealand. This is Lalith Kalidas bringing you all the updates as action unfurls in Southampton.

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Kyle Jamieson, Player of the Match: "To have something of this context in Test cricket is massive and to be standing up here is surreal. We knew we had a big first hour and just to see how things panned out. We were hopeful they might pan out our way if we put the ball in the right place. But we knew this is a quality Indian team as well. It was nice to get the ball first up and to play a part. It was good to bowl in the nets to him [Virat Kohli at RCB]."


What a win. What a day for New Zealand. And how fitting that the winning runs came off the bat of the veteran Ross Taylor. Williamson and Taylor denied a probing Indian attack to ensure New Zealand become the inaugural World Test Champion!  Also a fitting farewell to BJ Watling, who retires from all cricket. He dislocated his finger early in the day, but continued keeping. Top bloke.

Tim Southee: "We started this journey two years ago. To be sitting here as champions is special. There's a lot of hard work that has gone into it. Consistency comes to mind: consistency through performances, consistency in selection. We do a lot for each other. It's satisfying to achieve what we have. The turnaround dates back to beyond the last couple of years. The change room was a lot calmer knowing we had two experienced guys out there. Probably the longest 139 runs I've experienced."

NZ 140/2 in 45.5 overs: Take a bow, Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson! Taylor leads them home with a thumping blow to the boundary....What a moment!

NZ 135/2 in 45 overs: Ishant goes off injured as he cops a full one from Taylor's drive. Bumrah comes in to finish the over and concedes two runs.  Four runs away!

NZ 133/2 in 44 overs: FIFTY FOR KANE WILLIAMSON!  Shami brought in a little too late, has nothing much to offer as Williamson takes his batting to another level. A delectable slice to the square leg fence and he gets to a well-deserved half-century. A six away are the Kiwis!

NZ 125/2 in 43 overs: High-class Williamson! Ishant's fuller delivery onto the stumps is picked up with disdain and dropped to the mid-wicket boundary with a crisp flick from Kane. What a knock has this been from KW as NZ now needs 14 runs in 10 overs.

NZ 115/2 in 42 overs: Jadeja nearly manages to push through Williamson's defense with a quicker on. KW comes up with a perfect reply as a gentle step-down flick through mid-wicket rushes to the boundary.

NZ 111/2 in 41 overs: The score has hit Nelson and Ishant finds a ripper to nearly castle Taylor. A fiery nip-backer just about brushes the off-stump and Ishant is in shock that Taylor is still there to present to the dead push. Two runs off it.

Ishant replaces Bumrah

NZ 109/2 in 40 overs: Jaddu darts through the over by attacking the stumps. Just a single off it.

NZ 108/2 in 39 overs: Bumrah pummels to ball into Williamson, one after another. Kane sees them all off with soft hands and then gets enough room to push through covers to find the boundary. Kohli grimaces and that there seems to have drawn the conclusion to the result

Bumrah to continue as the Last Hour begins - 15 overs. 35 runs. 60 minutes.

NZ 104/2 in 38 overs: Drinks. Jadeja induces a couple of inside-edges but Kohli's loose field on th on-side ensures rotation of strike. NZ 35 away as the players take Drinks.

NZ 100/2 in 36 overs: Bumrah creates pressure with a couple of beauties outside the off-stump and flushes it with a loosener straying down Taylor's pads to the boundary. NZ crosses 100 and is 39 runs away from history!

NZ 92/2 in 35 overs: Bumrah rockets one into Taylor's grille and there's a brief halt in play. A Boom special, a little too late and irrelevant in the larger context.

NZ 90/2 in 34 overs: Jadeja bowls a lot slower through the air this time and gets Taylor carefully push forward. Taylor taps the final ball towards fine leg and gets a single.

20 overs. 50 to win. NZ nearly there!

NZ 85/2 in 31 overs: Bumrah to Taylor. DROPPED BY PUJARA! Of the best ball he has bowled in the Test so far, Bumrah has his fielder let him down. A regulation edge outside off and the ball carries to Pujara who drops a dolly. He is dejected and so is Bumrah who scoots back to his mark in frustration.  Meanwhile, Pant is back on the field.

Bumrah replaces Ashwin

NZ 84/2 in 30 overs: Jadeja lets loose and Williamson cuts gloriously through point for four! The Kiwis are inching ever so closer to lay hands on the elusive title. India, out of depth and options and would want to delay the inevitable as much as possible.

NZ 77/2 in 29 overs: A surprising field for Ashwin this time as the close men on the on-side has disappeared. Taylor has it easy as he smoothly chips in a few singles.

Ashwin replaces Ishant and we have spin from both ends.

Rishabh Pant goes off unwell. Wriddhiman Saha comes in to don the gloves


NZ 74/2 in 28 overs:
Jadeja runs through a quick over but Taylor and Williamson are content as they manage to rotate strike with a couple of singles.

Jadeja replaces Ashwin

NZ 70/2 in 27 overs: Width offered and Taylor pounces on it with a delectable cut through point. Another boundary and the pressure eases off from the pair. 69 runs needed from 29 overs

Ishant into the attack

NZ 64/2 in 25 overs: Sheer class from Kane! Shami pins Williamson back in his strides for the first couple of deliveries with the nip-backer away from the crease. Kane keeps pushing before a tinge of width outside off helps him to push gently through the covers for a gorgeous boundary.

NZ 60/2 in 24 overs: Ross Taylor collects another boundary, this time off Ashwin. He whips it away over wide mid-on. He follows it up with yet another boundary through cover.

NZ 52/2 in 23 overs: A boundary for Taylor off Shami. He's off the mark. Follows it up with a single. India have been brilliant with the ball so far. They can't, can't afford to give away easy runs.

NZ 46/2 in 22 overs: Maiden no.4! Ashwin continues to attack the stumps with a packed close-in field for the turn on the on-side. Taylor's out of options as he continues to jump up and push the ball off line and survive. And after a gripping passage of play, the players will move to Drinks.

NZ 46/2 in 21 overs: Third maiden on the trot! The runs have dry as Shami continues to drill in with seething pace. Pressure building on NZ's most experienced batsmen to manage a run let alone a boundary.

NZ 46/2 in 20 overs: Ashwin building pressure! Ashwin's keeping Taylor on his toes with the perfect guile on his delivery. He continues to vary his pace and length throughout the over as  the time is slowly slipping away from NZ.

NZ 46/2 in 19 overs: Shami, fired up! The crowd's behind his back and Shami gets the extra steam to probe Williamson outside the off-stump. Kane fends off the danger with some assured, patient leaves.

Ravichandran Ashwin goes past Pat Cummins to become the leading wicket-taker in the World Test Championship with 71 wickets!

NZ 44/2 in 18 overs: Ashwin to Conway. OUT! Plumb in front!
A beauty from the offie that foxes Conway completely! A gentle slider, slower in the air and it dashes in to hit Conway's pads right in front. No doubts there as Illingworth raises an instant finger. Ashwin is pumped and so are the fans!  Devon Conway lbw b Ashwin 19 (47b 4x4)

NZ 44/1 in 17 overs: Shami nearly through Kane's defense! Shami gets the ball moving rightaway and the ball pitches in middle and straightens through to KW's pads. A touch shot and it just about misses the stumps reckons the umpire.

Shami replaces Bumrah

NZ 42/1 in 16 overs: WILLIAMSON SURVIVES!  Ashwin pushes the ball in full as Williamson misses the sweep. The ball rushes onto the pads and the Indians go up in appeal. Umpire Gough raises his finger and Williamson is stunned by the decision. He reviews straightaway and the visuals suggest the ball is sliding down leg, missing the stumps, much to the agony of Kohli's men.

100 away, the Kiwis!

NZ 39/1 in 15 overs: Bumrah continues to leak runs. A loose bumper and Conway rocks back on his feet to smash a cracking pull to the square leg boundary. Bumrah high on pace, but staggeringly off a consistent length.

NZ 33/1 in 14 overs: Ashwin to Latham. OUT! Foxes him with a beauty! Latham jumps to take command but Ashwin adjusts his line to drift the ball away from Latham. Much slower through the air and it sneaks through. Is that the moment that gets it going for India? Perhaps not, for Kane Williamson has strolled down to the crease.  Tom Latham st †Pant b Ashwin 9 (41b)

NZ 33/0 in 13 overs: Bumrah goes flat again. Runs coming thick and fast as Bumrah draws an awry line down leg and the ball rubs Conway's thigh before rolling to the boundary. A delightful Conway drive through covers adorns the park next up.

NZ 22/0 in 12 overs: Ashwin sneaks in a quick over with the odd tempter outside off but Conway desists from any flash strokes.

NZ 22/0 in 11 overs: Bumrah in his element, finally. Latham is flummoxed with an inch-perfect jaffa that shoots sharply across the outside-edge. He has another crack at it and a near copy of the previous ball is on display.

NZ 21/0 in 10 overs: Latham SURVIVES! Ashwin lobs it slowly through the air and Latham jumps out of the crease to attack. The ball tosses up staight over Ashwin, a whisker away from his leaning fingers! Game of inches.

Ashwin into the attack

NZ 19/0 in 9 overs: Bumrah attempts to angle the ball across from Conway and finds him leaving with ease. A maiden to start the final session.

Bumrah is back into the attack

One final session in the Ultimate Test!  Conway and Latham walk to the middle. A long chat in the Indian team huddle.

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Equation for the final session: NZ needs 120 to win with 45 overs to play. India, well, needs an improbable 10 wickets.

NZ 19/0 in 8 overs: TEA. The Kiwi openers survive another opening spell as we draw closer to the final session. Shami and Ishant fail to break through while Bumrah continues to exhibit a pale self under pressure. 

NZ 19/0 in 7 overs: The boundaries continue to flow for NZ. Bumrah gets his line all wrong again and Conway slides one off his hips to the fine leg boundary. Kohli has a wry smile as nothing seems to fall in place. Bumrah finally gets one to move away to surprise Conway as it sits up from the pitch while angling across to Pant.

Bumrah replaces Ishant

NZ 14/0 in 6 overs: The odd boundary has put the pressure back on India. Shami almost gets through a fine over before Conway drills the fuller delivery down the ground for a boundary to break the shackles.

NZ 10/0 in 5 overs: Latham finds runs as he guides the angling in delivery from Ishant to square leg. Not a probing spell yet from Ishant as he fails to tempt Latham and Conway for the early drives.

139 or less has only been defended 16 times in Test history


NZ 5/0 in 4 overs:
Shami leaves no stone unturned as he hits the deck and generates prodigious pace and bounce. Latham, however, is unperturbed as he continues to frustrate the bowler with a dead-bat defence. Shami errs in line off the final ball and it runs down to the fine-leg boundary off Latham's thighs.

NZ 1/0 in 3 overs: Not a speck of doubt in the Kiwi openers at the moment. Ishant's bowling in a strong channel and Conway manages a gentle stride forward to push the inswinging deliveries while cautiously leaving the one outside the off-stump.

Win Predictor: IND - 15%  NZ - 82%


NZ 1/0 in 2 overs:
Shami hits the deck first-up and has Conway wriggle out with an odd shot to the on-side. He continues to jag the ball back in and Latham, well assured of his off-stump, leaves the ball inches away from the wicket.

Shami into the attack.

NZ 0/0 in 1 over: Ishant attacks the stumps from ball one and forces Latham to stay sharp to see off the ball from hitting the stumps. Latham improves in confidence with his defence as the over proceeds.

Ishant Sharma with the new ball

 

An animated Virat Kohli leads the huddle before they move onto the field. In walk the NZ openers, Devon Conway and Tom Latham.

RIGHT, the numbers up ahead. 53 overs and NZ needs 139 runs to win!

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IND 170 all out in 73 overs: ALL OVER FOR INDIA as Southee packs Shami and Bumrah!  Shami goes for the slog, edges one over the slips for a boundary. He has sights on another but this time Williamson has a fielder right in place for the miscued edge. Top-draw captaincy and Shami holes out the very next ball. Bumrah comes in with a couple of blocks before edging the final ball of the over to Latham and fails to trouble the scorers. A shambolic couple of hours with the bat has put India staring at defeat.  Mohammed Shami c Latham b Southee 13 (20m 10b 3x4), Jasprit Bumrah c Latham b Southee 0 (6m 4b)

IND 166/8 in 72 overs: Ishant and Shami keep a tight defence to see off Boult's attack around the stumps.

IND 164/8 in 71overs: Sizzling Shami! Southee fends one short and Shami wallops it through gully for a trademark cut. Well, he's in the mood! Shami gets another bumper to his ribs and he aces the swivel pull to backward square-leg - every run gets a massive cheer on from the Indian supporters in the stands.

IND 156/8 in 70 overs: Boult to Pant. OUT! Rishabh Pant does a Rishabh Pant. A stunning catch from Nicholls to get hammer India's hopes. Pant top-edges Boult's second ball in his new spell in an attempt to slog over long-on. The ball rockets to the air and nearly flies away from Nicholls before he pedals backwards and completes an excellent catch.  Boult adds another! Ashwin departs. Attempts a flashy cut through point and Boult finds the outside edge that carries straight to Taylor at slips. India falls flat and the Kiwis well in control now. Rishabh Pant c Nicholls b Boult 41 (88b 4x40), Ravichandran Ashwin c Taylor b Boult 7 (19b)
 
Boult into the attack, replaces Jamieson

IND 156/6 in 69 overs: Southee is gentle in the air as he tries to swing it in to Pant. Pant has it easy on the pace and continues to prod and push. Southee goes full off the last ball and Pant flakes it through covers to take the single and retain strike.

Southee replaces Wagner

IND 155/6 in 68 overs: Jamieson tirelessly continues to attack the stumps.  Pant finds a lone single of the fifth ball and retains strike after Ashwin negotiates the last ball.

IND 147/6 in 66 overs: Ashwin on the edge! Jamieson continues to snort in deliveries in the thin channel outside off and Ashwin is glued to the crease with the bat floating in the air.  Ashwin attempts a couple of cuts but Jamieson's guile powers through.

IND 147/6 in 65 overs: Wagner nearly has another! Ashwin is unsettled with the short ball and Wagner continues with his 'stock' ball throughout. A couple of close-in fielders on the leg-side and Ashwin still pulls a couple through the area - inches away from the fielders on both occasions.

IND 142/6 in 63 overs: Wagner to Jadeja.  OUT!  Wagner, the workhorse earns his due! Hit the deck in loop and that's precisely what he had in mind at the end of a fine effort. Jadeja in the rush to break the shackles, ends up ticking one to Watling. Wagner is ecstatic and boy he has deserved it. The pressure grows onto Pant that much more as India finds a genuine aggressor short at one end now. Ravindra Jadeja c †Watling b Wagner 16 (49b 2x4)

IND 142/5 in 62 overs: Pant's nearly sent back! He sets in on a quick run after nudging to short cover with Conway on it in a flash.  Conway misses the stumps at the non-striker's with his feet while Pant was miles short of the crease.

IND 138/5 in 61 overs: No dull moment with this bloke at the center. Pant reverse-pulls Wagner off a short delivery, although only a single is extracted of this. Runs drying up at the moment despite the Kiwis losing a bit of sheen on the ball.

IND 137/5 in 60 overs: New Zealand continues to restrict the run flow from the aggressive duo. Jamieson nearly cuts Jadeja in half with a quick change-up delivery. A stunning nip-backer flusters Jadeja as the ball zips right through the middle and surprisingly misses the pads and the wicket!

IND 137/5 in 59 overs: Pant mania is on! Wagner continues to hit the deck and target Pant high on the shoulder. Pant in all his typical flair, attempts for an expansive scoop over the keeper and misses. He loves the challenge while pinned to the edge.

IND 134/5 in 58 overs: More assured on his feet now against Jamieson as Pant gently pushes him through the covers for two runs.

IND 132/5 in 57 overs: Wagner continues his renewed tactic of forcing the ball short from around the wicket to the lefties. Pant tries to shrug away after attempting a couple of tentative hooks. Jadeja gets a similar line of treatment from Wagner who continues his attempt to induce a mis-timed pull from the batsmen.

 

Wagner on from the other end

IND 131/5 in 56 overs: Pant unleashes the slogs straightaway against a nasty Jamieson but misses. Jamieson continues to fire the ball into the awkward corridor outside the stump. Pant gets a quick single to cool off and Jadeja keeps his blade low to a couple of sharp deliveries from big J.

Jamieson back into the attack.

Back for the second session!  Pant and Jadeja walk to the middle as the Kiwis take their positions briskly.

 

5:21pm IST: 73 overs remain with India's lead inching towards 100. Another 60-80 runs could spice up the face-off.

India bowling out oppositions under 50 overs overseas in 4th innings:

26.5 Overs in WI, 2019

47.3 Overs in WI, 2016

48.4 Overs in Aus, 1981


IND 130/5 in 55 overs: And we head to LUNCH!
What a session have we just had in sunny Southampton! With all that was riding on India's batting pillars, Kohli and Pujara, the Kiwis have come out fighting and Williamson's prudent move to start with Kyle Jamieson bore fruit. Jamieson continued to check Kohli's defence and mindset by firing deliveries into the corridor outside-off before the skipper's concentration tapered off.  An uncertain check-drive away from the body proved Kohli's downfall as Jamieson marked him for the second time in the final. Pujara was soon to follow as Jamieson found another edge to deal the body blow.  Rahane and Pant helped India scrape past 100 before the vice-captain threw away another assured start. With Jadeja and Pant joining at the crease, India is on the hunt for quick runs before the eventual crackdown and the Kiwis have slightly helped India with the runs towards the end of the session.

IND 127/5 in 53 overs: Wagner continues to charge but Jadeja greets him with a brilliant flick once again through mid-on. There's a hint of shape but Jadeja does well to lean forward and reduce the movement into him. Jadeja then quickly attempts to sneak in a single but is rightly sent back. The ball from the mid-off fielder hits flush on Watling's finger to force a brief halt in play.

IND 121/5 in 52 overs: Gripping by the minute! Jadeja brings his flair to the fore as flicks Boult through mid-wicket for his first boundary. Boult is steaming in and hitting the stumps but the lefties at the middle are retaliating with elegant drives off the front foot at the moment.

Win predictor: IND - 8%, NZ - 41%


IND 109/5 in 50 overs: Boult to Rahane. OUT! Oh Ajinkya, what have you done?
He falls to a poor delivery from Boult. Boult comes from over the wicket and sends it down the wrong line and has Rahane brush the ball just as it passes his thighs. Watling makes no mistake and there goes the Indian vice-captain. The Kiwis are slowly snatching the mace to keep for themselves. Ajinkya Rahane c †Watling b Boult 15 (40b 1x4)

IND 103/4 in 49 overs: India crosses 100 as Pant gets a streaky edge to the boundary.
Well, it's getting interesting by the minute between Pant and Wagner. Pant charges down to smash Wagner off the length and the loose stroke flies through the vacant gully to the fence. He continues to step out and Wagner beats him through this time. Rahane walks down to his young partner and seems to have had a stern word of caution to the flamboyant Pant. Pant's caught in two minds and it immediately reflects as Wagner beats the outside edge once again.

IND 99/4 in 48 overs: Boult's much sharper today. Rahane attempts to put pressure on Boult and goes for the expansive cut but misses. Boult takes it away from Rahane and beats him again with a fuller delivery. Rahane reads the ploy and has his defence aligned as Boult tails one into him next ball.

IND 97/4 in 47 overs: Interesting battle in the making between Pant and Wagner. Wagner continues the tussle from the last over and is up on pace against Pant. Pant nonchalantly thwarts the incoming delivery with a solid block.

IND 97/4 in 46 overs: Boult surprises Rahane with a ball that sits up from the length. He fends one short again and Rahane elegantly swivels and pulls it to deep mid-wicket for a single.

Trent Boult replaces Jamieson

IND 95/4 in 45 overs: It's heating up at the Bowl!  Pant charges down and smashes Wagner to the long-off boundary.  Not a proper connection but does well to drift away from the mid-on fielder. Wagner gets Pant off tracks while attempting to charge down again and has a fake throw back at him. Well, there's a stern glare as well as Pant turns away. Wagner is riled up a bit and clips the inside edge next ball to get the drama going as the crowd cheers on.

Neil Wagner into the attack

IND 89/4 in 44 overs: Maiden over for Jamieson but Rahane continues to approach with a positive mindset. While Pujara and Kohli were rooted to the crease, Rahane has opted to drive on the full and has waded off the threat of the seaming ball from Jamieson.

IND 89/4 in 43 overs: DRINKS. Pant takes India into the second hour with a delightful drive down the ground. First signs of aggression from the southpaw as he steps down to smash Southee down the ground for a stylish boundary.

IND 82/4 in 40 overs: Jamieson to Pant. Dropped! The plan nearly comes into effect once again but Southee makes a mess of it at second slip. Pant goes for the fuller ball outside off and ends up edging it, much alike his first innings dismissal. Southee skims low to his right but fails to swallow it.

Batsman to be dismissed most no.of times dismissed by K.Jamieson in Tests:

3 - Kohli*, 3 - Pujara*, 3 - Abid Ali, 3 - R Chase, 3 - Faheem Ashraf, 3 - Mohd Rizwan


IND 77/4 in 39 overs:
Pant gets a streaky boundary off Southee and gets off the mark.  The ball clips the edge and rolls through gully. All seems lost with the Indian batsmen at the moment.

IND 73/4 in 38 overs: Jamieson to Pujara. OUT! Edged and taken! India is tapering off here and how! Jamieson continues his sizzling run! Another shoddy stroke as Pujara fails to commit himself on that nagging delivery outside off, a touch fuller to what struck Kohli. A thick outside edge and it lobs comfortably to Taylor in the slips. NZ up and running and India has its back to the walls in the first hour.  Cheteshwar Pujara c Taylor b Jamieson 15 (80b 2x4)

IND 72/3 in 37 overs: Southee continues with a fuller length to Rahane who looks a bit iffy as he edges a couple to the slips with soft hands.

IND 71/3 in 36 overs: Jamieson to Kohli. OUT! He gets his man this time!  Well this was in the offing since the last over. Kohli goes for a wry push at the ball away from the body outside off. A half-hearted push from the skipper as Jamieson gets his line on point. Massive jolt for India in the morning as the Kiwis begin to swell in confidence.  Virat Kohli c †Watling b Jamieson 13 (29b)

IND 71/2 in 35 overs: Pujara's soft forward press against Southee has Williamson bring in a silly mid-on to negate the shot down the wicket. Pujara continues to open his blade a tad to the off-side and continues to defend the fuller balls from Southee.

IND 71/2 in 34 overs: Beauty from Jamieson! Jamieson tests Kohli with a couple of straight deliveries attacking the stumps. The big man quickly pushes the ball outside Kohli's off-stump and gets him to play at it off successive balls. The ball sneaks straight through twice and Jamieson has a whiff at the big wicket.

IND 70/2 in 33 overs: Southee tries to toss it up in an attempt to find swing but fails. Kohli takes advantage and opens the face of the bat against Southee to fetch two runs.

IND 68/2 in 32 overs: Jamieson is switched on rightaway! Pujara is peppered with the nip-backer throughout the over. The ball, however, does not do much to surprise Pujara who has marked a fresh guard outside the crease and pushes the ball forward with soft hands.

Kyle Jamieson is on from the other end

IND 68/2 in 31 overs: Kohli begins with a trademark flick to the on-side. Pujara matches up to Kohli's pace and sneaks in three runs. Kohli gets a warning from umpire Michael Gough for running through the danger end. Southee is pushing it upfront but there's no large swing to accompany him to start the morning.

The menacing Tim Southee up with the ball!

Here we go, folks! Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara walk out to resume the innings, followed by the ice-cool Williamson and his boys.

 

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2:49pm IST: Indian batsmen in 2nd innings in England since 2011:

Virat Kohli: 11 innings, 300 runs, 2  50s , 1 100

Pujara: 10 innings, 234 runs, 2 50s

Rahane: 10 innings, 218 runs, 2 50

Pant: 3 innings, 133 runs, 1 100

Jadeja: 5 innings, 138 runs, 1 50

 

2:25pm IST: PITCH REPORT: Sunil Gavaskar says the surface holds up pretty well. A hint of grass would make it tricky for the batsmen in the first hour, but should be a "batting paradise" beyond the first hour.

Last 6-day Test that wen into the final day: 6th Test Ind v WI at Kanpur in 1979

Last 5-day Test that went to Day 6: SL v WI, Moratuwa (1993)


2:13pm IST:
Greatest test for VK as skipper today? What do you reckon, folks?

 

2:02pm IST: Live visuals from Southampton! Virat Kohli walks across a fresh Ageas Bowl outfield for a batting session. There's some sparkling sunshine for company, a first in the six days we have had here. 

1:53pm IST: All that matters is, now!

 

1:25pm IST: It's a sunny morning in Southampton! 98 overs definitely on the cards as we mark a rare sixth day, a first in Tests between two nations since 1979! 

1:15pm IST: Nearly 90 minutes away from action, Kohli and Pujara have a thrilling test up ahead. A win still out of the horizon for India as quick runs will be the mantra to mark it the solitary champion. Should Kohli and Pujara get on top of the Kiwi bowlers, the tables are going for a spin at Ageas Bowl.

12:45pm IST: There, Jimmy gets it right about what's in store for us today!

 

Day 6 Preview

An auspicious day indeed for Indian fans, for it's been eight years to the day since their team last lifted an ICC trophy. The Champions Trophy triumph at Edgbaston in 2013, remains the soothing checkpoint to which the country falls back into for solace after failing to cross two ICC finals and three semi-finals in the years that followed.

A jubilant 25-year-old Virat Kohli was at the heart of the celebrations that followed the win then. Today, he is once again at the crux of a historic day in the purists' game on the final day of the inaugural World Test Championship.

With rain lifting away two whole days of the game and frustrating the cricketing world, the final is very much in the balance with all three outcomes possible in a 98-over cut-off.

READ: WTC final, Southampton, 5th day: New Zealand holds advantage despite Shami's 4 for 76

 

 

Williamson's men managed to get things just about right by a slender margin on Day 5 as it leapt to a 32-run lead with lusty blows from the lower-order accompanying an ice-cool innings from the skipper. Mohammed Shami's guile and pace kept the runs in check as India set out to see off a tense final session.

With Rohit and Gill falling to Southee's adept in-swinger, India was once again on the back-foot. Kohli and Pujara resume action with a 32-run lead and the spotlight will be on their approach in the first hour.

98 overs will present a test of character, perhaps at par or greater than the Australian challenge earlier this year. The mindset of their captain will decipher a win or a battle for a draw today as the Kiwis eye a moment of history to smash the underdog title and etching their name as a cricketing powerhouse for the years to come.

Chances of rain - Wednesday, Southampton - According to UK Met department

Time (UK)7:00am10:00am12:00pm02:00pm05:00pm
Chances of Rain<5%<5%<5%<5%<5%

 

Sportstar correspondents Shayan Acharya, Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya and Ayan Acharya discuss their star players and big match-ups in the #WTCFinal.

WHAT THEY SAID

Tim Southee: “We'll rest up tonight, come tomorrow with a plan on how we want to attack the day. But yeah, it's exciting to end up on the last day of a Test match with three results still possible. Yeah, I think the first hour, first couple hours is very crucial tomorrow.”

Mohammed Shami: "In English conditions, it is impossible to predict how many overs would be needed to bowl out the opposition. The team management has not decided on going for a win or draw at the moment. Our focus now is to build a strong total and then assess the situation from there on how to approach the game with the time left in hand."

 

Squads:

India Playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah

New Zealand Playing XI: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling(w), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult

The World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand will be shown on Star Sports and streamed live on Hotstar.