A stunning partnership under immense pressure from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor led New Zealand to an eight-wicket victory over India in the inaugural World Test Championship final.
With this Test heading into its reserve sixth day, New Zealand were set 139 to win after they had dismissed India for 170 in their second innings.
There were still some real nervy moments when New Zealand found themselves 44-2 with Ravichandran Ashwin applying real pressure, but Taylor then joined Williamson at the crease, and the two experienced batsmen put on a masterclass.
As play headed into the final hour, the final touches were added, with Williamson ending on 52*, while Taylor was unbeaten on 47 as they finished just shy of a century stand.
And yet, all that mattered was this remarkable result as New Zealand laid claim to the World Test Championship title and ICC mace.
Two years on from their agonising Super Over loss to England in the 50-over World Cup final at Lord’s, New Zealand’s men claimed their first major global title.
The real damage was done by New Zealand’s all-pace attack, with India dismissed for just 170 in their second innings earlier on Wednesday, despite a rare sunny day in this match at the Hampshire Bowl providing the best batting conditions of the entire game.
Tim Southee took 4-48 in 19 overs, with Rishabh Pant (41) the only India batsman to manage a score above 30 in the innings.
This final marked the culmination of a two-year cycle of series to determine Test cricket’s first official world champions.
India 1st Innings 217 (K Jamieson 5-31)
New Zealand 1st Innings 249 (D Conway 54; Mohammmed Shami 4-76, Ishant Sharma 3-48)
India 2nd Innings 170 (T Southee 4-48, T Boult 3-39)
New Zealand 2nd Innings 140-2 (K Williamson 52 no)
Result: New Zealand won by eight wickets
– Additional reporting by AFP
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) June 23, 2021