India has qualified for the World Test Championship as New Zealand managed to defeat Sri Lanka in one of the instant classics.
“India have qualified for the World Test Championship final! They’ll take on Australia at The Oval for the #WTC23 mace!,” tweeted the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday. In order to qualify for the WTC final, India only had two options. India either needed to defeat Australia by a margin of 3-1 or invest their hopes in New Zealand.
On the final day of the fourth Test match of the Border Gavaskar Trophy India is only a few steps away from draw. But New Zealand went against the odds to defeat Sri Lanka in a dramatic fashion. On Day-5 when rain intervened to change the course of the game, the Kiwis still relied on their chances of chasing down a total of 285.
When the moment called Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell rose to the occasion to keep New Zealand in the game. Their partnership was the turning point of the entire series and for India as well. After Mitchell’s wicket, the game was wide open. Sri Lanka went on to pick up wickets at a regular level. But Williamson ensured that New Zealand maintained a consistent run rate.
Tension started to mount up in the entire stadium. Asitha Fernando held the ball to bowl the final ball of the game. One ball and one run was the difference between the two teams. Fernando produced a fierce bouncer missing Williamson’s bat entirely. Neil Wagner made an effort to complete the run with all his might. Williamson did his role and completed the run before the ball could hit the stumps. The epic clash came to an end and India booked their place in the final of WTC.
Now, even if Sri Lanka manages to win the next Test, they will only go up to 52.78 points. That will still be behind India’s 56.94 if India goes on to lose the Ahmedabad Test. If they draw the game it looks most likely that India will finish on 58.80. Australia has already qualified: even if they lose in Ahmedabad, they will end with a percentage of 64.91.