SOUTHAMPTON, England (Reuters) – Mohammed Shami led India’s fightback with double strike in Tuesday’s morning session that reduced New Zealand to 135-5 at lunch on day five of the weather-marred World Test Championship (WTC) final at the Ageas Bowl.
India, who posted a below-par 217 in their first innings, restricted New Zealand to only 34 runs in the session while they claimed three wickets thanks to captain Virat Kohli’s three inspired bowling changes.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was batting on 19, his 112-ball vigil underlining a batsman’s struggles against the moving ball on this pitch.
Colin de Grandhomme was yet to open his account at the other end with New Zealand still 82 behind.
The one-off contest has already lost two full days to rain on England’s south coast, diminishing hopes of a result in the inaugural final of test cricket’s pinnacle event.
Wednesday has been allocated as a reserve day to make up for lost time.
There was a delayed start to fifth day’s play as well and Shami got the ball to swing and bounce alarmingly when New Zealand resumed on 101-2.
The seamer bowled a steady line and induced overnight batsman Ross Taylor, who made 11, into driving. Shubman Gill hurled himself at cover to take a low catch.
Ishant Sharma dismissed Henry Nicholls for seven before Shami returned to clean bowl BJ Watling for one with a fuller delivery as New Zealand lost three wickets for 18 runs.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Pritha Sarkar)