Cricket: Weather set to hamper Black Caps chances of World Test Championship victory

An impressive day three in the World Test Championship final from the Black Caps could end up being all for nothing as bad weather looks set to affect the side’s victory chances.

Starting the day with India at 146-3, New Zealand walked off the Southampton pitch seven and a half hours later at 101-2, having rolled India for 217.

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However, this dominant position will soon be compromised as, according to Britain’s Met Office, heavy rain is highly likely to fall for at least the first half of day four in Southampton.

A washout of day four’s play would leave the Black Caps just two days – one extra, thanks to the sixth reserve day – to try to force a result against India to claim the inaugural test trophy.

However, Black Caps bowling coach Shane Jurgensen says the side is remaining positive about its chances.

“Tomorrow doesn’t look good – hopefully a magic wand can wave the clouds away,”Jurgensen told Gold AM on Monday.

“This game would be going for a draw if it was [being played] under the five standard days. Plenty of time left in the game – no need to panic. We’ll certainly be going into the sixth day.”

Fortunately, the forecast for the final two days is currently free from rain with a cloudy Tuesday and sunny Wednesday predicted.

While a potential washout of day four could prevent the Black Caps winning the crown outright, it would also increase the chance of a drawn test which glass half-full supporters would welcome.

If the match ends in a draw or a tie, both teams will be crowned as joint winners of the inaugural World Test Championship.

Kyle Jamieson led the way for the Black Caps on day three, finishing with figures of 5-31 after India’s first innings.

Opening batsman Devon Conway also performed well to blunt India’s new ball and claim the first half century of the match before eventually falling for 54, but leaving his side in a strong position going into a grey day four.

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