ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Kiwis keep their nerve to down India in a Cup classic
Martin Guptill's direct hit run out of MS Dhoni secures a spot in the World Cup final for New Zealand
11 July 2019, 06:30 AM AEST
New Zealand reached their second World Cup final with a stunning 18-run win over shell-shocked India at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
The Black Caps will play hosts England or holders Australia in Sunday's title match at Lord's after pulling off a remarkable triumph against two-time champions India.
New Zealand, beaten in the 2015 final by Australia, were restricted to just 8-239 after completing their 50 overs a day later than expected following the suspension of play on Tuesday due to rain.
But Kane Williamson's side bowled superbly to rock India, with three top-order wickets from paceman Matthew Henry proving the key contribution in dismissing the pre-tournament favourites for 221.
Inda were left praying for a World Cup miracle from veteran batsman MS Dhoni after a stunning top-order collapse left them reeling in a dramatic run-chase.
India lost key batsmen Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul for just one run each as they slumped to 3-5 and were 4-24 when Dinesh Karthik was out for six.
Hardik Pandya tried to steady the ship but when he fell for 32, India were 6-92 off 30.3 overs needing a further 148 runs to reach a victory target of 240 at Old Trafford.
Dhoni, India's captain when they won the 2011 World Cup on home soil, was then 10 not out.
New Zealand pacemen Matt Henry (3-37) and Trent Boult (2-42) did the early damage.
They were helped by some fine fielding, Jimmy Neesham holding a superb one-handed catch at backward point to dismiss Karthik off Henry to leave India's bid to reach the final in turmoil.
Sharma began the procession of top-order dismissals when he edged a fine Henry delivery that curved away to wicketkeeper Tom Latham.
Kohli fell next, lbw to a superb inswinger from left-armer Boult.
Kohli reviewed but replays upheld English official Richard Illingworth's original out decision on umpire's call and, to the despair of the massed ranks of India fans in the ground, the star batsman had to go.
India were then five for three when Rahul was brilliantly caught by a diving Latham after edging Henry.
At that stage, India, two-time world champions, had lost three wickets for one run in 10 balls against 2015 runners-up New Zealand.
Pandya struck Henry for an elegant back-foot four through the offside.
But that was a rare boundary and the ongoing pressure exerted by the Black Caps told again in the 23rd over when Rishabh Pant holed out for 32 when he was caught at deep midwicket by Colin de Grandhomme following a lofted sweep off left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner.
His exit left India 5-71 and brought in Dhoni, 38 on Sunday, with India hoping he had one more rescue mission left in him.
But they suffered another setback when Pandya, slogging across the line, skyed Santner to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson at midwicket.
From there India got themselves back in the game thanks to a superb 116-run seventh-wicket partnership between Dhoni (50) and Ravindra Jadeja (77).
It looked as if the pair might take the game away from New Zealand with Jadeja the aggressor, striking four sixes and another four boundaries in his 59-ball knock. His strike rate of 130.51 was the only one in the entire match to be better than a run a ball.
But when Jadeja skied a shot off Boult, Williamson was calm under the high ball to snaffle the catch.
Dhoni was left to orchestrate the run chase and the match turned when he was run out by a brilliant direct hit by Martin Guptill coming back for a second run.
It was a pivotal intervention by Guptill, the New Zealand opener who has had a wretched tournament with the bat but has been key in the field for the Kiwis.
With Dhoni gone, New Zealand quickly wrapped up the tail, Lockie Ferguson bowling Bhuvneshwar Kumar with a beautiful slower ball before last man out Yuzvendra Chahal was caught behind swiping at Neesham with 23 needed off the final over.
Earlier, New Zealand added 28 runs in the remaining 23 balls of their innings to finish on 8-239 after rain had stopped play on Tuesday.
Ross Taylor, who resumed on 67 not out, top-scored with 74 after Williamson, who won the toss, had made a masterly 67 in awkward conditions for batting.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar finished with three for 43.
Meanwhile, Ravindra Jadeja, whose left-arm spin yielded an economical one for 34 in 10 overs on Tuesday, ran out Taylor and held a brilliant catch in the deep to dismiss Latham.
Wednesday's winners will face either hosts England or reigning champions Australia, in Sunday's final at Lord's.
New Zealand XI: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitch Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.
India XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah.