However, Colin de Grandhomme then counter-attacked, scoring a blistering 50 off 28 balls, adding 77 runs with Ross Taylor (42 off 36 balls) for the fifth wicket.
Once De Grandhomme was sent back to the dug-out by Hardik Pandya (1/36 in 4 overs) and Taylor was run-out, New Zealand's chances of a big total went up in smoke.
It was a much-improved performance by the Indian bowlers with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/29 in 4 overs) removing Tim Seifert (12) in the very third over with a fuller delivery, inducing an inside edge to Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps.
At 50 for 4, it was De Grandhomme, who took charge as he attacked Yuzvendra Chahal (0/37 in 4 overs), hitting him for a couple of sixes.
When he was just about threatening to take the game away, De Grandhomme smacked one straight to covers in skipper Rohit's hands.
India bowled 35 dot balls, which could well be decisive in the final context of the match.
Krunal Pandya was given the man of the match award for his crucial contribution.