The first ball almost hit Ahmed Shehzad at the non-striker's end. The fact that it was hit at all was the shock. Mitch Santner had been bowling in this tournament like his deliveries were made of dreams and whispers rather than leather and string. Hitting them anywhere, other than the odd spooned catch, seemed improbable, and when the ball really span, impossible. Yet his first ball at Mohali was bludgeoned from the heavy heave of Sharjeel Khan.

But perhaps the most shocking thing was Santner didn't even land it. Not a failure to land it on an inviting length with ample turn, but a failure to land it at all. It was a full toss.

His next ball was not much better. Aimed down the legside, he was only saved when Sharjeel missed it. The third ball was a quicker ball; it felt defensive already, like Santner was trying to spear the ball down just to get one right. He almost took a wicket from Sharjeel's mistimed slog. By the fifth ball he was back down the legside again, this time for a wide.

It was clear the next ball was going to deep midwicket: Sharjeel had the sort of drool you only get when you've got a left arm orthodox on the hop. It went high, and for another team, would have landed quite safely a metre or so inside the fence, before reaching the boundary. For New Zealand, it was nearly a catching opportunity as Martin Guptill looked more athletic in one dropped catch that the entire Pakistan team had in their best fielding moments.

The last ball of the over, Sharjeel slapped back another straight drive, his best shot of the over, and to one of the better balls.

Santner had gone for 15. The same Santner who had destroyed India and who at one stage had 2 for 4 against Australia. The same Santner who in his first 35 balls of the tournament had gone for one four. The same Santner who had 6 for 15 off his first six overs of the tournament. That guy was now opening the bowling for New Zealand and getting slapped.

As in the other matches, Santner set the trend. Corey Anderson's first over was down the legside, either for runs, or for wides. Adam Milne and Mitch McClenaghan both tried short to Sharjeel, then full. Both went, a long way.

In all five other bowlers bowled before Santner came back on. It was really only Ish Sodhi, whose first over went for three, who seemed to worry the Pakistanis. The following over was Santner's second, the ninth of the innings. Pakistan were chasing well. Sharjeel's innings had ended, but there were only one wicket down, they were well set, and had hitters to come. New Zealand hadn't been as sharp in the field, Williamson had tried a lot, but it hadn't quite worked.

Sodhi wasn't enough, the two of them had to work together.

The worrying thing for the other teams was that New Zealand never really played that well. They are capable of much more

Santner's second ball was a wicket, the over went for four runs. His next over went for two runs. Pakistan had only five overs that went for less than six runs, Santner now had two of them in his first three. His last over picked up another wicket, he was also slogged by Afridi, and it ended up with eight runs. But from the time Santner came on for his second spell, the game was over. Sodhi ended it in his last over when he took Afridi's wicket.

Between them, despite Santner's 15 over opening gaffe, they took 3 for 54 in 8 overs. Conceding three boundaries outside the powerplay.

Boundaries became like diamonds, or in Afridi's case, possessed a sense that they wouldn't last. Pakistan's innings was stopped, and it never started again.

The pitch didn't spin, Pakistan were well set, and Sodhi and Santner, the most unlikely of spin twins, took New Zealand to 3-0, a semifinal, and probably at least equal favouritism in this tournament.

The worrying thing for the other teams was that New Zealand never really played that well. Tthey are capable of much more, it was the first time their batsmen made runs, and even then, they could have scored far more. And almost all their bowlers came back strong once the spinners had got going.

They weren't as focused or prepared as other games, and they still easily won the game with their now familiar method of choking the middle overs. There is no team in the tournament with bowlers harder to score off, or fielders more likely to stop them scoring.

And all this with Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Nathan McCullum getting splinters. Their bench bowling is better than other teams' front liners.

Before this event, few knew of Sodhi, fewer knew of Santner, and none, or practically none, of the New Zealand media bothered to show up. Now the first two are making some noise, and there will be some hastily booked, red faced journalists making their way to India. Even from that distance, they, too, have been bamboozled by Santner.

Jarrod Kimber is a writer for ESPNcricinfo. @ajarrodkimber