it certainly is slow and straight, but Pant is equal to it! Not a bad ball really, back of a length with pace off, but Pant has a gallop, has a thwack, skews it over long-off, and India win an unexpected cliffhanger!
11.07pm Right, that'll do. India lead after an enjoyable tussle. See you on Saturday for more thrills and spills. From Miller, KK and Chandan, goodnight!
The Player of the Match is Suryakumar Yadav: "I've been doing nothing different, I try to bat the same way in the nets and replicate the same in the game. I put a lot of pressure on myself in the nets, if I get out I go into the dressing room and think what better I could have done. The ball was coming on nicely to the bat, came on a bit slow later, but happy to be on the winning side." On Boult's dropped catch: "It's my wife's birthday, a perfect gift from him." How touching.
Deepak Chahar wins a moment of the match award for his hard stare after dismissing Martin Guptill... what a hero. Gamechanger of the match award goes to R Ashwin for two wickets in an over... which makes more sense. KL Rahul pulled off the best save of the match... tremendous sprint and slide, you had to see it to believe it...
Rohit Sharma: "It didn't come as easy as we expected, so great learning for the guys, to understand what needs to be done, not about power-hitting all the time. As a captain and a team, happy that those guys finished the game off. A good game for us, missing a few players, opportunity to other guys to show their ability. At one stage it was looking like 180-plus so a great effort from a complete bowling performance.
Sky is a very important player for us in the middle, plays spin well. My dismissal... Trent Boult knows my weakness, I know his strength. When I am captaining him I always tell him to bluff and that's what he did. Happy with the win, first win, always nice."
Tim Southee: "You want to come out on the right side of close ones, Mark Chapman the way he played was very pleasing, but a game of fine margins. The way we started with the ball wasn't what we wanted, did well to claw it back in the middle, took it deep and to the last over was a positive. We set higher expectations so a bit off with the field, been v v good at it in the last few matches. Tough that we'd used our resources, but Daryl does his scouting and always wants to bowl. We probably didn't leave him enough runs."
10.47pm So, that was a pleasant enough postscript. Rohit and Sky do the needful for India, after Guptill and Chapman set the stage for New Zealand. The presentations are coming up.
10.42pm Handshakes all round, after a spirited performance from New Zealand, taking the contest into the dying deliveries in spite of India's rampant start to their chase.
And with that, Sampath notes, India have ended a seven-match losing streak across formats against New Zealand
R Ashwin: "The slower you bowled there was purchase from the pitch, it's tricky how much you toss it up, the windows for attacking are less [in T20s]. We thought it was par, par-minus, 170-175 was par, at the halfway mark we thought we would cruise home. Identifying the right pace took a bit of time for me. Important to see the game in isolation, 24 events [balls], the batsman is trying to play catch-up, so execute your plans..."
On Dravid: "Too early to comment, we need to give him some breathing space. He's done the hard yards in Under-19 and A sides. Nothing to chance, about preparation, leaving nothing to chance, and bringing back the joy."
Mitchell comes round the wicket to Pant, leg-side field is back, mid-off is up. Slow and straight?
another slower ball, a similarly wide line, but bat on ball this time to point, and that gets Pant back on strike
Raj: "Wtf is happening here? Why is my heart pounding for this?! " Cricket is happening!
outside off, slower ball... Mitchell is miffed but that is definitely the wrong side of a wide line
Extra cover in close to cut off the single
Gosh, I wasn't planning on getting a sweat on in this finale! Five from four is still in India's grasp, but the batters didn't cross...
reverse-sweep, and it's hero to zero for Iyer! Scuffed the shot, from outside off, a looping chance to short backward point. And the noise in the stadium is sucked out!
straight it was, but it was back of a length too, and Iyer clobbers his pull fiercely in front of square! Off the mark in style with his first stroke!
Plenty pondering from the NZ brains trust. The field says straight...
oops, overcooked outside off, pushing for the tramlines and giving away a bonus run
Well now... Daryl Mitchell, a first baller, and now a final over. Still, he was the find of the World Cup. He's got the requisite confidence to do a job! He's got a debutant in his sights too...
crashed through the line but straight at mid-off! Ballsy over from Southee, holds his line and length, demands that Iyer hits him off it, and he can't oblige, scuffing a mistimed thrash down the ground straight at the fielder. It's a dot ball too, almost as importantly
What can Southee leave for the final over?
swung violently across the line, a huge top-edge, but it's so high they can run two before it plugs in the gap behind the bowler!
well bowled again, right up to the pads, out of Pant's arc as he swings himself off his feet and takes the deflection to the leg side
This is threatening to get interesting...
spliced down the ground, a fierce swing through the line but Southee's line was tight and long-on gathers
fired into the pads from round the wicket, deflected behind square. Just another single...
panned off a good length, but straight at midwicket! A bit of a fumble allows the single but that's a decent start for New Zealand
New Zealand finished flatly too, their last three overs missed out on about 20 runs.
wide line, back of a length, vital dot! Pant kneels into an enthusiastic cut but can't connect! Well now...
good length again, Pant punches to the off side but can't beat the field
very full, pushed to the on-side under the eyeline, a direct hit could have been tight as midwicket had a ping while still on his knees. Inches away!
pacy delivery, into the hips, deflected behind square off the thigh-pad, the muffled impact prevents it skidding away to the rope as fine leg sweeps round
Naman Jogani: "Why is the talk only about Newzealand team being overly tired? Havent Indian players played enough through the IPL and the World cup? Granted that India played 2 fewer games than Newzealand" They just lost their third World Cup final in six years! It's a different sort of tired...
fired past the legs. That's not going to help
slower ball, back of a length from round the wicket, picked off to the leg side, a couple of bounces to the sweeper
full length, outside off, thwacked through the line with no timing. A dot to start
Ferguson needs to go for it, but also, give nothing away. No pressure. (No, really, no pressure...)
opens the face on a firm drive, but straight at backward point. That's a fine over in the circumstances. Just giving India a little bit to ponder as their rate creeps back above a run a ball