New Zealand’s nail-biting finish against Sri Lanka Helps India qualify for WTC 2023 Final

New Zealand ended Sri Lanka’s hopes of qualifying for the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 final after sealing a last-ball, two-wicket win in Christchurch. This confirmed India’s qualification for the final of the World Test Championship , setting up a date with Australia for the biggest global honor in the format. 

Kane Williamson Sails the Kiwi boat over the victory line

New Zealand needed to chase down a target of 285 runs to win the match, and they did it in dramatic fashion by hitting the winning run on the final ball of the match. This gave them a two-wicket victory.

New Zealand’s captain, Kane Williamson, played a starring role in the victory. He scored an unbeaten 121 runs, which was his 27th test century. Daryl Mitchell also played a vital part, scoring 81 runs and sharing a crucial 142-run partnership with Williamson.

The Match-winning bye that shattered Sri Lanka’s chance for WTC 2023 Final

New Zealand pulled off one of the most dramatic wins ever, off the last ball of their first Test against Sri Lanka.

The game was affected by rain, which meant that the first 4 and a half hours of the final day were washed out. However, when the weather cleared, New Zealand was given an extended session to chase down their target. They went into the final day on 28-1, needing 257 more runs to win.

Sri Lanka had some early success with the ball, taking two quick wickets. New Zealand batted well in the afternoon and needed 15 runs from the final two overs to win. Tim Southee was caught in the deep, and Matt Henry was run out, leaving New Zealand’s victory hopes hanging by a thread.

However, Williamson kept his cool and hit a crucial four off the fourth ball of the final over. This mean that New Zealand needed just one run to win. In the end, former captain Neil Wagner and Williamson secured the winning run with a bye, Williamson diving full length to get his bat down in the crease before a direct hit broke the stumps.

Watch the last ball action

India and Australia to lock horns in June for WTC 2023 Title

Now, following their loss in Christchurch, even if Sri Lanka win the next Test, they will only go up to 52.78 points. That will be lower than India’s 56.94 even if India have lost the Ahmedabad Test.

Australia and India are the only teams which have won at least twice as many Tests as they have lost in the current WTC cycle (in Tests which counted towards the WTC). Australia have been stellar with a 11-3 win-loss record so far, with series wins against England, West Indies and South Africa (home), and Pakistan (away). They also drew in Sri Lanka (1-1), with the only series defeat coming in India (assuming a draw or a defeat in Ahmedabad).

The WTC title contest will take place at The Oval in London from June 7.

Thank you for reading.

Prachi Rajan - 850 Posts

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