India qualify for WTC final as NZ beat SL
India have qualified for the ICC World Test Championship final courtesy of New Zealand's two-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first Test. The Lankans needed a win to stay alive in the race. However, they failed to defend 284 in Christchurch. As Australia had already secured a final berth, India will meet them in the summit clash. Here's more.
How did the Christchurch Test pan out?
Sri Lanka posted 355 while batting first with Dimuth Karunaratne (50) and Kusal Mendis (87) scoring fifties. Tim Southee took five wickets. Daryl Mitchell's 102 and Matt Henry's 72 guided the Kiwis to 373 in reply. Angelo Mathews scored 115 as SL finished at 302 in their second innings. Chasing 285, NZ crossed the line on the final ball thanks to Kane Williamson's 121*.
SL stay in the 4th spot
The Lankans stay in the fourth spot of the WTC table with a PCT of 48.48 (W5 L5 D1). Even if they win the second Test and India lose their ongoing fourth Test versus Australia, SL won't advance to the top-two. Besides India and Australia, South Africa are ahead of them in the table. However, the Proteas are also out of the final race.
Australia through to final
Australia required just a draw in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series to seal their WTC final spot. A nine-wicket victory in the third Test helped them earn 68.52 points and consolidate their top spot. Notably, the Aussies will finish at the top regardless of further results. They currently boast 11 wins, four draws, and three defeats in the ongoing cycle.
India to finish at the second place
As of now, India have a PCT of 60.29 as they own 10 victories, five defeats and a couple of draws in this cycle. As mentioned, if they even lose the ongoing fourth Test against the Aussies, they won't go below Sri Lanka or South Africa in the table. At the time of writing, the Ahmedabad Test is heading toward a draw.
India's second entrance into the WTC final
Notably, India also qualified for the final in the inaugural WTC cycle. They, however, suffered an eight-wicket defeat against New Zealand in the summit clash. Rohit Sharma's men would be raring to make amends this time around.
Oval to host the WTC 2021-23 final
The International Cricket Council (ICC) earlier confirmed that the 2021-23 WTC final will take place at the Oval, London, from June 7-11. The venue will also play host to the 2023-25 final in June 2025. The venue has previously hosted the finals of the 2004 and the 2017 editions of the ICC Men's Champions Trophy.