Test Championship final in the balance with a day to go


All four results remain possible in the final of the World Test Championship after an engrossing fifth day between India and New Zealand in Southampton.

India closed on 64-2, leading by 32, meaning the Test will go into a sixth and final day because of time lost to the weather earlier in the match.

Earlier, New Zealand ground out a first-innings lead of 32 by turning their overnight 101-2 into 249 all out.

Up against high-class fast bowling, captain Kane Williamson dug in for 49 from 177 balls, while Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee added important cameos of 21 and 30 respectively.

Southee then trapped Shubman Gill lbw for eight early in India’s second innings and dismissed his opening partner Rohit Sharma in the same manner 15 minutes before the close when he horribly misjudged a leave and fell lbw, offering no shot, for 30.

It leaves New Zealand as the most likely winners, if they can bowl India out on the reserve day and leave themselves enough time to chase a target.

India could still win – but it would likely take a rapid acceleration in their scoring rate or an aggressive declaration from captain Virat Kohli, who is unbeaten overnight on eight.

Good weather is forecast for day six, but if no win is possible in a maximum of 98 overs, the two teams will be crowned joint winners. (BBC Sport)

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