New Zealand has revived its Twenty20 World Cup campaign with an eight-wicket thrashing of India, whose own semi-final hopes suffered a jolt after a second successive defeat.
Put in to bat, India’s rejigged top order wilted in no time and the 2007 champions crawled to 7-110 in 20 overs.
The below-par total was unlikely to test New Zealand’s batting might and so it proved.
Daryl Mitchell made a breezy 49 and captain Kane Williamson remained not out on 33 as the Black Caps cruised to their first win of the tournament with 33 balls to spare.
“A fantastic all-round performance from us against a formidable India side,” Williamson said after the victory.
“We were able to build pressure throughout and the way the openers came out really set the platform.”
The match featured two teams who were beaten by group leaders Pakistan in their respective openers and needed a victory to put their campaigns back on track.
New Zealand have been India’s bogey team in recent global tournaments having prevailed over Virat Kohli’s men in the semi-finals of the 2019 ODI World Cup and the final of the World Test Championship this year.
India tweaked their top-order for the match for the same opponents, harnessing Ishan Kishan with KL Rahul in a left-right combination and dropping Rohit Sharma to number three.
Yet they slumped to 4-48 in the 11th over after another top-order meltdown at the Dubai International Stadium.
The New Zealand attack operated with exemplary discipline, conceding only two sixes as they subdued one of the most star-studded batting line-ups of the tournament.
New Zealand did better in their powerplay and had knocked off half of their their target in the first seven overs, losing only the wicket of Martin Guptill (20).
Mitchell missed his half-century by a whisker but Williamson stayed put to hit the winning run.
“I don’t think we were brave enough with bat or ball,” a dejected Kohli said after the loss.
“We didn’t have much to defend but we weren’t brave when we walked out to field.”
Pakistan lead the group with three wins in as many matches, followed by Afghanistan who have played an equal number of matches and won two.