A goal of 139 wouldn’t have been difficult and Williamson (52 not out), after a brilliant captain game, played sublime drives in a short chase on a mild reserve day that was used to make up for two lost days of cricket rain. .
There was the characteristic serene smile on his face that widened after a hug from his mate Ross Taylor (47 not out) in a very low celebration for a team that is high profile in its own right.
Senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s first two wickets gave hope for a turning point in history, but Williamson and Taylor tamed them one stroke at a time.
Perhaps the cricket gods wanted a course correction for Williamson and his men, who were blown away that night at Lord’s where cruel twist of fate and horrific rules robbed them of their deserved glory in the 2019 World Cup.
It wasn’t going to be like this on Wednesday when their bowlers smothered India, which seemed to be looking for a draw to get their hands on the glittering club.
Williamson’s pacers completely rejected their idea and made sure a World Cup had a winner and a deserving one.
For Kohli, this is the third failure in major ICC events after the 2017 Champions Trophy and the 2019 World Cup.
He may have just one more hit, which is the T20 World Cup this year, and failing to win could justify some changes in the team’s hierarchy.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is revered for his three ICC trophies and it was ironic that India’s miserable surrender occurred on the same date the revered former skipper won the Champions Trophy in the same country eight summers ago.
When India beat, it was only Rishabh Pant (41), who was ready to live and die by the sword while his elders found it difficult to play the game of survival against the most cunning attacks.
At tea, India had another batting disaster with just 170 points in their second inning leaving New Zealand with a goal they should have chased.
It was one of the worst batting performances on a good track with the sun beating down.
Williamson is arguably one of the few captains to have pulled out the Indian team for under 250 in six consecutive innings, a testament to his brilliant cricket acumen and close to perfect execution of his bowlers’ plans.
Tim Southee (4/48) did the first damage with his bowling swing, Neil Wagner (1/44) threw those tough “rib cage” overs that went around the stumps and Trent Boult (3/44), with the his ability to take him back into the left-hander, made for a brilliant few hours of test cricket.
And then there was India nemesis Kyle Jamieson (2/30), who got his “rabbit” Kohli the third time in three trials and twice in one to put the icing on the cake.
Pant fought for two and a half hours for his 41, but was more intent and less happy as a devilish and chivalrous approach didn’t get him too many leads.
The catch Henry Nicholls took while running backwards was as good as it would have been seen at this level.
Pant’s expulsion thwarted India’s chances, but before that an inspirational piece of Williamson’s captain left an indelible mark.
He made Wagner turn the wicket for Jadeja and the left arm “pounder” spread out enough to almost cut the side crease and tilted one for Jadeja to nick it behind the stumps.
Pant’s approach to dealing with the New Zealand attack was better than just being in the shell, something that did more harm than good to Cheteshwar Pujara (15 out of 80 balls).
Before Pujara, the extra bounce off the block made the Indian skipper fall in love and BJ Watling got the easiest of catches in his last match for the Black Caps.
Pujara’s abilities to take out bowlers reached mythic proportions and once again he wasn’t trying to score.
The pressure increased and Jamieson fired from the corner. Pujara wanted to remove his bat but it looked like the ball was following him and Taylor got a regulation hold.
Ajinkya Rahane (15 out of 40 balls) also didn’t last long and, as often happened with India, their tail didn’t wag except Mohammed Shami (13), who cut three fours before Williamson deftly deployed a ” third flying-man “(neither the third short man nor the traditional third man) for the shot, which landed promptly in the defender’s palms.
It was a day when everything went haywire for India and poor captaincy made things worse.