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Kane Williamson rallies as New Zealand earn first-innings lead over India

Kane Williamson rallies as New Zealand earn first-innings lead over India
© Reuters
A reserve day has been activated, giving some hope of a positive conclusion to the old format's inaugural showpiece.

Kane Williamson's long vigil earned New Zealand a narrow first-innings lead in the rain-ruined World Test Championship final, but a strong bowling performance from India raised hopes of a positive result on the sixth day of action.

With two full days already lost to rain, and further time claimed by bad light, the International Cricket Council confirmed on the fifth afternoon that a reserve day had been activated, giving some hope of a positive conclusion to the old format's inaugural showpiece.

Kiwi captain Williamson had been in no mood to speed the game along, playing with remarkable restraint in an innings that stabilised his side's position in the match while in the process serving to rob the occasion of some much-needed momentum.

But by the time he was eighth man out for 49 he had ground his way through 177 deliveries and nudged his team marginally ahead of India's 217.

Some freer hitting from tail-enders Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee took the Black Caps to 249 all out, a lead of 32, at the tea break.

Play began an hour late due to yet more Southampton drizzle and, when New Zealand resumed on 101 for two, Williamson and Ross Taylor dropped anchor to score just 16 runs in a wicketless first hour.

Despite taking more time out of the game, the progress was so slow that it left New Zealand vulnerable to a quick shift in fortunes and India's seamers finally got some overdue rewards as they took three wickets in 7.1 overs.

Mohammed Shami was the key man, capping some wonderful swing bowling with two scalps: Ross Taylor pushing an aerial drive to Shubman Gill at short cover to finally end the long third-wicket stand, before BJ Watling lost his middle stump to a beauty.

In between, Ishant Sharma landed his own blow from round the wicket, with Henry Nicholls feeling for contact and edging to the cordon. Rohit Sharma took matters into his own hands, throwing himself in front of Cheteshwar Pujara to pouch the catch.

After only 34 runs in the morning session, things accelerated between lunch and tea with 115 scored for the loss of the last five wickets.

Shami added the scalps of Colin de Grandhomme and Jamieson, the latter with a sparky 21 including one towering straight six, but it was Ishant Sharma who finally got the better of Williamson.

Nearly five hours of firm refusal ended tamely, with a waft away from the body and a simple slip catch. Spinners Ravichandran Aswhin and Ravindra Jadeja belatedly joined in to see off Neil Wagner and Southee, who smashed a couple of sixes and a four before playing on.

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New Zealand's Neil Wagner celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of India's Ajinkya Rahane on June 20, 2021
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United StatesUnited States95822
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia57416
Great BritainGreat Britain45110
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB trio Vicky Holland, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jess Learmonth all have realistic medal hopes in the women's event (10.30pm-1am)

· After an impressive opening day, Great Britain play their final group game against a Fiji side level with them at the top of the pool, but also yet to hit their brilliant best (1.30am)

· After disappointment for friend and housemate Jade Jones, Bianca Walkden will go for gold in the women's +67kg category (2am-2.30pm)
· Mahama Cho is another medal contender for Team GB in the men's +80kg class (2am-2.30pm)

· Team GB's Duncan Scott has the chance to claim his first individual Olympic medal in the men's 200m freestyle final. Teammate Tom Dean is also involved. (2.43am)
· Kathleen Dawson is the Team GB representative in the women's 100m backstroke final (2.51am)

· Eden Cheng and Lois Toulson will look to emulate Tom Daley and Matty Lee's success in the women's 10m synchro final (7am-8am)

· Three-time Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin is part of a Team GB team going for gold in the dressage team Grand Prix final (9.30am)

· Superstar Simone Biles leads the United States side in the women's team final (11.45am-2.10pm)

· Team GB's women's team play their final group game, taking on Canada with qualification for the knockout rounds already secured (12pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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