MANCHESTER - New Zealand reached the World Cup final as they produced the bowling performance of the tournament to edge out a crestfallen India by 18 runs in a sensational match at Old Trafford. India, chasing 240 to win, were reduced to 24-4 and 92-6 before Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni produced a 116-run partnership to drag the 2011 winners back in contention. Jadeja in particular was superb but, with 37 runs needed from the final 18 balls, Jadeja hit Trent Boult high into the air and to Black Caps captain Kane Williamson to fall for 77.

Dhoni struck a six off the first ball of the 48th over but was then superbly run out by Martin Guptill to realistically end India’s slim chances. The final wicket - last man Yuzvendra Chahal edging behind - was greeted with shock by an India heavy crowd, as New Zealand gathered into a huddle.

Make no mistake, this was a stunning, surprising, unexpected win by New Zealand, with India heavily tipped from the start to win the tournament. With play going into the reserve day after rain ended play on Tuesday, the bowlers were superb up front, defending what seemed to be meagre target.

Boult swung the ball, Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson bowled with pace and Guptill and Jimmy Neesham produced two outstanding bits of fielding to put New Zealand into the final. They will play either England or Australia in Sunday’s final, with those two sides set to meet at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Going into a reserve day, this match could have been played out in front of an empty stadium - but that was not the case, with Old Trafford full of vibrant, noisy India fans. With New Zealand adding 28 runs off 23 runs to reach 239-8 in their rain-affected 50 overs on Wednesday morning, India looked to be in the ascendency, but a brilliant start by the bowlers put that in jeopardy.

Boult and Henry were all over the batsmen; Rohit Sharma, the tournament’s leading run-scorer, edged Henry behind before talismanic captain Virat Kohli was trapped lbw by Boult. Kohli was visibly unhappy at the decision and reviewed it but the ball was shown to be hitting and Kohli stood, aghast, on the pitch before walking off. India were in further trouble when KL Rahul nicked Henry through to wicketkeeper Tom Latham to leave them 5-3. As is so often the case, when things are going one side’s way, everything seems to stick in the hands.

Neesham pulled off a superb, one-handed take at backward point to dismiss Dinesh Karthik and leave India reeling. It is a credit to New Zealand that they kept their nerve in the final overs, when Jadeja and Dhoni, one of the best finishers in the game, had the target down to a manageable total.

However, Williamson’s superb catch to a steepling offering off Jadeja was the inspiration New Zealand needed. Guptill’s run out a handful of deliveries later just showed what a sharp side this Black Caps team are. And the idea of this bowling attack, at Lord’s, with a slope to help the ball swing, will worry both England and Australia.

Jadeja has not been a regular feature in this India side but his fielding to run out Ross Taylor and catch Tom Latham on the boundary edge brought New Zealand’s reply to a halt. And with the bat he came so close to putting India into the final. His name was chanted at every opportunity by the fans and his fitness, allowing him to take quick runs, was crucial for India’s chase.

He targeted New Zealand’s change bowlers; Neesham was crunched over long-on for six while a superb pull off a Henry slower ball put him within touching distance of his 50. He celebrated his half-century, brought up from 39 balls, with a trademark, Zorro-like swish of the bat and a fist pump towards the dressing room - a retort to criticism that he is a “bits and pieces cricketer”.

While he and Dhoni were there, the crowd believed. New Zealand’s bowlers were wary and their fielding stuttered. But Williamson’s catch ended that superb partnership and, ultimately, India’s hope of reaching the final.

Scorecard

NEW ZEALAND:

M Guptill c Kohli b Bumrah 1

H Nicholls b Jadeja 28

K Williamson c Jadeja b Chahal 67

R Taylor run out 74

J Neesham c Karthik b Pandya 12

C de Grandhomme c Dhoni b Kumar 16

T Latham c Jadeja b Kumar 10

M Santner not out 9

M Henry c Kohli b Kumar 1

T Boult not out 3

EXTRAS: (lb5, w13) 18

TOTAL: (8 wkts; 50 overs) 239

FOW: 1-1, 2-69, 3-134, 4-162, 5-200, 6-225, 7-225, 8-232

BOWLING: B Kumar 10-1-43-3, J Bumrah 10-1-39-1, H Pandya 10-0-55-1, R Jadeja 10-0-34-1, Y Chahal 10-0-63-1

INDIA:

K Rahul c Latham b Henry 1

R Sharma c Latham b Henry 1

V Kohli lbw b Boult 1

R Pant c de Grandhomme b Santner 32

D Karthik c Neesham b Henry 6

H Pandya c Williamson b Santner 32

MS Dhoni run out 50

R Jadeja c Williamson b Boult 77

B Kumar b Ferguson 0

Y Chahal c Latham b Neesham 5

J Bumrah not out 0

EXTRAS: (lb3, w13) 16

TOTAL: (all out; 49.3 overs) 221

FOW: 1-4, 2-5, 3-5, 4-24, 5-71, 6-92, 7-208, 8-216, 9-217, 10-221

BOWLING: T Boult 10-2-42-2, M Henry 10-1-37-3, L Ferguson 10-0-43-1, C de Grandhomme 2-0-13-0, J Neesham 7.3-0-49-1, M Santner 10-2-34-2

TOSS: New Zealand

MAN OF MATCH: Matt Henry

UMPIRES: R Kettleborough, R Illingworth

TV UMPIRE: Rod Tucker

MATCH REFEREE: David Boon

India captain

Virat Kohli

I’m very disappointed. We played outstanding cricket throughout this tournament. To go out on 45 minutes of bad cricket is saddening. It breaks our heart because you work so hard to build momentum, finish number one in the table, then a spell of bad cricket and you’re out of the tournament, but you have to accept it.

Kiwis captain

Kane Williamson

It’s a different feeling to last time (2015). We’ve had to skin it over the round-robin, so it’s been quite different. A lot of heart has been shown by the guys so far but we’re keeping our feet on the ground. We were underdogs coming into the semis. It was a great semi-final and we’re happy to be on the right side of it.

Man of Match

Matt Henry

We talked about just making sure we did the best we can and just taking it to them at the top of the innings. We wanted to create as much pressure as we could. We pride ourselves on always giving ourselves a chance. They have world-class finishers and they were very dangerous, we knew we’d have to bowl them out to win today.

Second semi-final opponents in number fight

Most runs

England has scored a total of

2,716 runs compared to Australia’s 2,678.

Morgan’s side has five batsman in the top 20 with a combined total of 2,001 runs, compared to the 1,790 scored by the four Australians. The numbers appear to suggest England is the stronger side in this area, but Warner and Finch look likely to cause them problems. But Australia has two of the top five run-scorers, whereas England has none. David Warner has scored the second-most runs of the tournament so far with 638 and Aaron Finch is in fifth position with 507 runs, while England’s highest scoring batsman Joe Root is in sixth place with 500.

Most wickets

England have taken a

total of 71 wickets compared

to the 55 taken by Australia.

Aussie bowler Mitchell Starc has taken the most wickets so far with 26, and will have his sights on removing England’s top order in the semi-final. Jofra Archer, competing in his first World Cup for England, sits in fourth place with 17 wickets. He shares the placing with three other bowlers. England’s Mark Wood, who is in eighth place with 16 wickets, is the next highest player from either team to make the list. Australia’s Pat Cummins is eleventh with 13 wickets. The stats show Australia has the top wicket-taker in the tournament, meaning surviving Starc will be key for any England success.

Most Sixes

England have hit 65 sixes in

the tournament

compared to Australia’s 36.

Thursday’s contest could be decided by some big hits, and the stats suggest England has the advantage in this area. England have hit 65 sixes in the tournament compared to Australia’s 36. Morgan has hit the most sixes of the tournament so far with 22, while Australia’s Finch is in second place with 18. Morgan also hit most sixes (18) in a single one-dayer against Afghanistan Finch is the only Australian batsman in the top 10, while England have two more. Bairstow has hit 11 sixes and Stokes has hit nine. If England’s big-hitters are on form they could knock Australia for six on Thursday.

Best strike rates

Glenn Maxwell has the highest strike rate of 163.15, while Jos Buttler is 4th with 130.41.

The strike rate is more significant in limited-overs cricket, because it indicates how quickly a batsman can score runs or how early a bowler can take wicket. With the first and third best batting strikes rates in tournament, Australia appears to have the advantage. Australia have also edge in bowling strike rate. Australia’s Glenn Maxwell has achieved the highest strike rate of 163.15, while England’s Jos Buttler is in fourth place with 130.41. Mitchell Starc is third most dangerous bowler with strike rate of 19.23. Mark Wood is in 12th place with England’s best strike rate of 26.