WTC Final India vs New Zealand, Day 5 1st session: Shami-Ishant give Kiwis three blows; NZ 135/5 at lunch

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India’s perseverance was rewarded soon after drinks break when pacer Mohammed Shami ended Ross Taylor’s resistance for 11. Taylor looked to go for a drive off Shami and an alert Shubman Gill took superb catch diving towards his right at short cover as Indians achieved the first breakthrough of the day’s play.

Right from the start of the day’s play, all three Indian quicks laboured hard and kept bowling the tight line and didn’t allow Williamson and Taylor easy runs. They kept a tight leash on both the batsmen.

Later, it was Ishant’s turn to give BlackCaps their second jolt of the day when he got the wicket of Henry Nicholls for 11. Nicholls edged the straight delivery towards his off-stumps and Rohit Sharma took a superb catch at second slip.

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In the very next over, Shami – who had been breathing fire all through the session – clean bowled new-man-in BJ Watling with a jaffa. Watling – who is playing his final Test – was dismissed for 1 and New Zealand lost their fifth wicket in 70.2 overs.

At lunch break, New Zealand reached 135/5 in 72 overs with Williamson (19* off 112) and Colin de Grandhomme (0*) were present in the middle. They trail India by 82 runs.

For India, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma started the proceedings with the ball on day five when play began after a half-an-hour delay. Only 141.2 overs of play has been possible in the past four days due to rain and wet outfield. The reserve sixth day will be utilised on Wednesday as the two teams seek a clear winner.

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Earlier on Monday (June 21), the weatherman’s forecast proved to be accurate to everyone’s disappointment as the play on day four was washed out due to rain, without a ball being bowled. The persistent shower all through the day forced the match officials to call off the day’s play as it wasn’t worth the wait anymore.

The precipitations on day 4 kept the players indoors as they kept waiting for the skies to clear and get on the pitch. Some players, meanwhile, kept themselves occupied with indoor sports and not let the thought of rain spoil their mood.

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