New Zealand was somewhat comfortably placed at 101-2 after fast bowler Kyle Jamiesen’s 5-31 dismissed India for 217 in the first innings on the third day of the rain-affected inaugural WTC final. The first day was completely washed out while only 64.4 overs could be bowled on the second day. India’s middle order was rattled by an all-out New Zealand pace attack on Sunday before Devon Conway (54) and Tom Latham (30) provided a solid opening stand of 70 runs. There is the provision of a reserve day and there’s a much better forecast over the remaining two days. If the outcome is a draw, the trophy will be shared. Given a standard men’s Test lasts a maximum of five days, this match would usually be destined for a draw. The provision of a reserve day on Wednesday, however, offers the hope that one team will be able to claim a winners’ cheque worth $1.6 million, with the runners-up receiving $800,000.
But that is still no guarantee a two-year process to crown Test cricket’s first official world champion will end with an outright winner. The International Cricket Council confirmed Monday the final would be extended into Wednesday if the match had not been completed by close of play on Tuesday’s fifth day. But the global governing body stressed the aim of using the reserve day was to do with making up the overs lost in the game, rather than trying to force a result The ICC added a decision would be taken by the match officials 60 minutes before the scheduled close of play on day five. Tickets have now gone on sale to spectators who had paid to attend the washed-out first and fourth days, with fans who missed out in the initial ballot able to buy tickets from Tuesday.