Energized New Zealand needs 120 runs to win WTC final

SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) — New Zealand needs 120 runs in the last session to win the inaugural world test championship final after India’s star-studded batting lineup succumbed to the Black Caps' pace for the second successive time.

India, which was bowled out for 217, was yet again bundled out for 160 on the sixth and final day to set up a 139-run target for the Kiwis in a minimum 53 overs left in the game.

Openers Devon Conway (9) and Tom Latham (5) carried New Zealand to 19-0 at tea in eight overs with 45 overs remaining.

Captain Kane Williamson’s smart captaincy brilliantly set up India’s downfall when it resumed at the overnight 64-2 — ahead by just 32 runs.

Towering fast bowler Kyle Jamieson (2-30) jolted India with two early wickets as India stuttered to 130-5 at lunch on a sunny day at the Rose Bowl.

Jamieson claimed the wickets of Virat Kohli (13) and Cheteshwar Pujara (15) in his successive overs and could have followed it up with the wicket of Rishabh Pant, but Tim Southee dropped a regulation catch in the slips.

The probing line of Jamieson outside the off stump troubled both Kohli and Pujara from the onset. The Indian captain was set up by the 6-foot-8 Jamieson for the second successive time when he got a faint edge behind the wicket and Pujara was caught well by Ross Taylor in the first slip.

Ajinkya Rahane (15) and Pant pushed the lead to 77 before Rahane fell to a reckless shot against Trent Boult (3-39) when he tried to flick the left-arm fast bowler but was caught by BJ Watling down the leg side.

But Williamson smartly placed his fielders, and the bowlers frustrated India’s lower order.

Neil Wagner (1-44) tested Ravindra Jadeja with a barrage of short-pitched deliveries down the leg side before pitching one on the good length and got the edge of the left-hander.

Pant, who top scored with 41 off 88 balls, tried to break the shackles before he charged down the wicket against Boult only to see Henry Nicholls hanging on to a brilliant two-handed diving catch at point.

One ball later Ravichandran Ahwin also edged the left-arm fast bowler in the slip before Southee wrapped up the innings with two quick wickets to finish with 4-48.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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