New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor played some very stylish shots as they guided their team to the World Test Championship title with an 8-wicket win in Southampton against India.
Earlier in the day, the Kiwi pacers led by Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee forced the issue in the morning session of the Reserve day and bowled out India for 170 in the second innings.
NZ needed 139 runs to win from 53 overs and survived a spell of pressure after R Ashwin removed the openers, before their two most experienced batters took charge of the situation.
Williamson, who was joined by Ross Taylor at the fall of the second wicket, then dropped anchor as they absorbed the pressure.
The two experienced batters were in no rush and waited patiently for the bad balls and even copped a few blows on the body but did not flinch or concede an inch.
India had a massive chance to put more pressure on the batters when Taylor edged one off Jasprit Bumrah but Cheteshwar Pujara in first slip could not hold on to an easy catch. Taylor was on 27 at the time.
Once the duo got their eye in, they made it look easy, playing elegant shots on both sides of the field as India’s shoulders started to drop.
NZ needed 35 runs in the final hour and Williamson almost lost his wicket to Mohammed Shami but survived as Jasprit Bumrah failed to hold on to a tough chance.
While Williamson finished with an unbeaten 52, Taylor had 47 to his name. Taylor hit the winning runs off Mohammed Shami. Unfortunately for India, Ishant Sharma went off just before the end.
This was also BJ Watling’s final Test. The game was also marred with heavy rain as two days were washed out.
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