New Zealand produced a brilliant bowling performance to upset World Cup favourites India with an 18-run victory in their rain-affected semifinal on Wednesday.
The Kiwis added 28 runs to their overnight score from 23 balls to finish on 239/8 - a modest total India’s star-studded batting lineup would have been confident of chasing down with ease.
But the Kiwi bowling attack turned the game around as Matt Henry (3/37) and Trent Boult (2/42) ripped the heart out of India’s top order and spinner Mitchell Santner struck two crucial blows in the middle overs.
Henry dismissed Rohit Sharma, the World Cup’s leading scorer, and Boult trapped Virat Kohli lbw in the next over.
The horror continued for India as KL Rahul became the third Indian top order batsman to depart for one, Henry’s second caught-behind victim.
From a dire position of 24/4, however, India got themselves back in the game thanks to a superb 116-run seventh-wicket partnership between MS Dhoni (50) and Ravindra Jadeja (77).
But once those two fell, the writing was on the wall and the 2011 champions were bowled out for 221 with three balls remaining.
A beaten Kohli says his team paid for a bad spell of cricket.
The India skipper explains: “It was a game of margins and MS [Dhoni] was run out - 45 minutes of bad cricket puts you out of the tournament.”
The Black Caps will now face the winners of Thursday's semifinal between England and Australia in Sunday’s final at Lords.