New Zealand move past India, Australia to secure top spot in WTC standings

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New Delhi: New Zealand climbed to the top of the World Test Championship (WTC) standings following their thumping 281-run victory over South Africa on Wednesday.

The inaugural WTC champions bolstered their chances of featuring in their second final next year with a well-rounded performance against South Africa in the first Test at Mount Maunganui. The Kiwis leapfrogged the finalists of the previous WTC final – India and Australia and moved to the summit of the rankings with a 66.66 per cent points percentage.

In the current WTC cycle, New Zealand have played only three Test games. They drew the two-match Test series against Bangladesh and registered a victory over South Africa. After the conclusion of the first Test between the two teams, Australia moved to the second, India dropped to third.

The defeat forced South Africa to settle on the seventh spot with Bangladesh (4), Pakistan (5) and the West Indies (6) ahead of them. The first clash between the experienced side and the raw talent saw the experienced side pass with flying colours on Day 4.

After Kane Williamson’s twin centuries and Rachin Ravindra’s double ton gave New Zealand a commanding position before Day 4’s play, pacer Kyle Jamieson backed by spinner Mitchell Santner allowed the hosts to clinch a dominant victory.

With overcast conditions hovering over the beautiful Bay Oval, Jamieson set the tone of the final session by striking twice after lunch and removed David Bedingham (87) and Keegan Petersen (16).
South Africa in their quest to chase down 529, collapsed on 247 with Santner picking up the final wicket Dane Paterson.

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