After waiting for close to five hours, Day 4 of the ICC World Test Championship final got abandoned due to persistent rain in Southampton. The rain gods weren’t kind to the cricket lovers as it just didn’t stop drizzling at Rose Bowl Stadium.
Not even a single ball was bowled throughout the day owing to no improvement in the weather. Under such circumstances, it looks like the Test match will result in a draw despite a reserve day in place, scheduled by the ICC on June 23. With four days of play already concluded, any other result apart from a draw seems highly unlikely.
Earlier, Team India were bundled out for 217 runs in the first innings. India had made 146 for 3 on Day 2 after being sent in to bat first. Day 3 saw some good action, with Kyle Jamieson ripping apart India’s batting lineup. The tall and lanky fast bowler picked the wickets of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant to put India on the backfoot. As a result, Virat Kohli and Co. were bowled out for 217.
New Zealand openers, Tom Latham and Devon Conway batted brilliantly and denied India any early wickets. At the end of Day 3, New Zealand had lost two wickets for 101 runs in 49 overs. The weather forecast for the next couple of days looks good as one could witness a good contest between bat and bowl on both days.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) updated its fans on the same on its official Twitter handle. In its Tweet, the Board confirmed that there won’t be any play on Day 4 of the summit clash.
Here’s a look at what the Cricket Commentators had to say on the conduct of WTC Final:
“It looks like the World Test Championship Final will end in a draw and the trophy would be shared. There are penalty shootouts in football or other criteria to decide a winner. In tennis, there are five sets and then a tiebreaker to get a winner. In Tests, we can only have a draw in such instances, and there is a high probability of a draw here as well,” Sunil Gavaskar claimed.
Former England Captain, Kevin Pietersen through his Twitter handle suggested Dubai as another possible venue to host WTC Final game. In earlier tweet, he said, 'It pains me to say it, but a ONE OFF & incredibly important cricket game should NOT be played in the UK."
VVS Laxman lashes out at ICC for only one reserve day instead of allowing the game to go the full distance.
“It’s very sad for the fans. I think the ICC did not get the rules right. All said and done, you want a champion.
“With so much time available, I’m sure they could have at least allowed 90 overs in 5 days to complete 450 overs. That’s something I would have expected from ICC. We were excited that there is a reserve day but I’m not sure whether the game can finish (even with the reserve day) if the rain continues.”
Day 5 Southampton Weather Forecast
According to the weather forecast, Day 5 is likely to be gloomy, with cloud cover likely to around 94 percent but the good news is that the precipitation levels are expected to lie in the range of 0-9 per cent disallowing chances of rain. Meanwhile, the ICC has confirmed that they have reduced the ticket prices of the WTC final on Day 5.
"Yes, the prices of the tickets for the sixth day will be reduced. It's a standard practice for Test matches played in the United Kingdom. Since the Test match is only open to UK residents, the ICC is following the same guidelines." said ICC in a PTI report.