New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: India's revered superstars failed to dazzle on the final day as a tenacious New Zealand with its canny operators and their classy skipper Kane Williamson deservingly walked away with the inaugural World Test Championship title after a composed and comfortable eight-wicket win over India on the sixth and final day of the marquee event at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

The seasoned pair of skipper Kane Williamson (52) and Ross Taylor (47) took New Zealand past the finish line with their unbeaten 96-run partnership as they overhauled the 139-run target without much fuss. It is the first major ICC trophy for the Black Caps, who had ended runners-up at the 2019 ODI World Cup after losing the final to hosts England on boundary count. They had also lost the 2015 World Cup final to Australia.

The match, in which two days were lost to rain, saw a strong performance from Kiwis on the reserve day as their bowlers ran through the Indian batting line-up and dismissed them for just 170 runs.

India got a sniff of victory when off-spinner R Ashwin removed the two openers early and bowled a tight line to Taylor. However, Taylor smashed Ashwin for two boundaries in one over to break the shackles and then coasted along.

Earlier, India, who started the day at 64/2, lost three wickets -- skipper Virat Kohli (13), Cheteshwar Pujara (15), and Ajinkya Rahane (15) -- in the first session to go to lunch at 130/5. Kyle Jamieson (2/30) removed Kohli and Pujara while Rahane fell to Boult (3/39).

Post lunch, India kept losing wickets as the tail failed to wag once again. Rishabh Pant, who was the innings top scorer with 41 runs, was the last hope for India but he fell to a rash shot as the seventh wicket with the score on 156. Pace bowler Tim Southee picked four wickets for 48 runs to end as the most successful New Zealand bowler.

Indian seamers, in response, failed to make an impact on a pitch where New Zealand bowlers looked unplayable. Barring a brief spell during which Ashwin unsettled the Kiwis by removing Devon Conway (19) and Tom Latham (9), the entire bowling unit looked innocuous. This is New Zealand's sixth successive win over India in ICC tournaments, dating back to World T20 in 2007.

 

(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan