Star batsmen Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli misfired at Old Trafford, India’s top three making just one apiece, as they lurched to 24 for four and then 92 for six chasing 240 on the reserve day of this semi-final.
Ravindra Jadeja’s swashbuckling 77 from 59 balls gave India a fleeting hope but he departed with 32 required off 13 balls before Mahendra Singh Dhoni was run out for 50 from 72 deliveries as the Asian giants were skittled for 221 from 49.3 overs.
The Black Caps will now face England or Australia in Sunday’s showpiece at Lord’s after successfully defending 239 for eight.
Ross Taylor top-scored with 74 from 90 balls as they added 28 runs in the remaining 3.5 overs of their innings, deferred until yesterday morning because of persistent rain on Tuesday.
India made an abject start to their reply, losing three wickets in the space of 11 balls, including the prize scalps of Rohit and Kohli.
Jadeja, batting for the first time in the tournament, put on a World Cup record 116 for the seventh wicket alongside the more subdued Dhoni, who was content to defer the big-hitting responsibilities to his junior partner.
Jadeja obliged, clubbing four fours and as many sixes, before holing out to long-off off Trent Boult and, although Dhoni attempted to up the ante, the veteran was run out by a direct hit from Martin Guptill in the penultimate over.
Rohit needed 27 to set a new record for most runs at a single World Cup, overtaking Sachin Tendulkar’s 673 in 2003, but he lasted just four balls before feathering an edge behind after being squared up by Matt Henry.
Kohli was tentative and was soon back in the pavilion, Boult’s inswinger striking the India captain on the knee-roll of his front pad, a review showing the ball would have clipped the top of the stumps. India were teetering by this stage and their position worsened when they fell to a scarcely credible five for three, KL Rahul caught in two minds whether to play or leave and only edging to wicketkeeper Tom Latham off Henry.
Dinesh Karthik took 21 balls to get off the mark as a shell-shocked India looked to rebuild but he was on his way when Jimmy Neesham dived to his left to take a stunner inches off the ground at backward point, following a thick outside edge off Henry.
Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya were forced to rebuild from 24 for four but Lockie Ferguson saw chances off both go begging, Pant shelled by Neesham and Pandya miscuing into a vacant area on the leg-side ring.
India added only one run in 16 balls before Pant departed for 32 after wildly slugging slow left armer Mitch Santner to deep midwicket.
Santner yielded just five runs in his first five overs and the pressure told on Pandya, also out for 32, as he top-edged to Kane Williamson at midwicket.
Jadeja, pictured, then made a counter-attacking 39-ball fifty to the delight of the majority of those inside the ground. But, with the asking rate skyrocketing, he took one risk too many, skying a Boult slower ball to Williamson before India lost their last four wickets for 11 balls.