India qualifies to WTC finals as New Zealand beat Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka needed to win both the Test against the Blackcaps to get through to the finals as Australia had already qualified.
New Delhi: India has qualified for the World Test Championship (WTC) finals, where they will face Australia for the largest global prize in the format. Their participation in the final was assured after New Zealand won by two wickets off the last ball of their opening Test against Sri Lanka in Christchurch. Kane Williamson scored the match-winning century as Sri Lanka crashed out of the finals race.
Sri Lanka needed to win both the Test against the Blackcaps to get through to the finals as Australia had already qualified. India will now face Australia in the finals in The Oval in London from June 7 onwards. This will be India’s second WTC finals game as the last time the Virat Kohli-led team lost to New Zealand.
India and Australia are currently facing each other in the four-match Test series where India is leading 2-1 while the fourth Test is ongoing in Ahmedabad. With Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill scoring centuries in response to Australia’s 480 runs, the game is likely to be headed toward a draw. India took a lead of 91 runs and by Lunch, Australia stood 73/1 after Travis Head scored 45* off 96.
In the game between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, Daryl Mitchell was the one who turned the tables with his century in the first innings. New Zealand has been playing nail-biting and exciting Test cricket, which this time helped India.
Sri Lanka scored 355 runs in the first inning after Kusal Mendis scored 87 off just 83 balls while Tim Southee picked up a five-wicket haul. In response, after a batting collapse, Mitchell’s century and Matt Henry scoring 72 off 75 saved the hosts as Asitha Fernando picked four wickets. Angelo Matthew’s century helped Sri Lanka put up a target of 285 runs.
The final day also saw a four-hour delay due to rain, but it was New Zealand’s day as they came on to bat and chase the total. Williamson played a knock of 121* off 194 deliveries while Mitchell played a key role with his 81 off 86 and was declared the Player of the Match.