India lost key batsmen Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul for just one run each as they slumped to five for three
Manchester: India were praying for a World Cup miracle from veteran batsman MS Dhoni after a stunning top-order collapse left them reeling in Wednesday's dramatic semi-final run-chase against New Zealand.
India lost key batsmen Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul for just one run each as they slumped to five for three and were 24 for four when Dinesh Karthik was out for six.
Hardik Pandya tried to steady the ship but when he fell for 32, India were 92 for six off 30.3 overs needing a further 148 runs to reach a victory target of 240 at Old Trafford.
Dhoni, India's captain when they won the 2011 World Cup on home soil, was then 10 not out.
New Zealand pacemen Matt Henry (three wickets for 23 runs in seven overs) and Trent Boult (1-15 in six) did the early damage.
They were helped by some fine fielding, Jimmy Neesham holding a superb one-handed catch at backward point to dismiss Karthik off Henry to leave India's bid to reach the final in turmoil.
Sharma began the procession of top-order dismissals when he edged a fine Henry delivery that curved away to wicketkeeper Tom Latham.
Kohli fell next, lbw to a superb inswinger from left-armer Boult.
Kohli reviewed but replays upheld English official Richard Illingworth's original out decision on umpire's call and, to the despair of the massed ranks of India fans in the ground, the star batsman had to go.
India were then five for three when Rahul was brilliantly caught by a diving Latham after edging Henry.
At that stage, India, two-time world champions, had lost three wickets for one run in 10 balls against 2015 runners-up New Zealand.
Pandya struck Henry for an elegant backfoot four through the offside.
But that was a rare boundary and the ongoing pressure exerted by the Black Caps told again in the 23rd over when Rishabh Pant holed out for 32 when he was caught at deep midwicket by Colin de Grandhomme following a lofted sweep off left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner.
His exit left India 71 for five and brought in Dhoni, 38 on Sunday, with India hoping he had one more rescue mission left in him.
But they suffered another setback when Pandya, slogging across the line, skyed Santner to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson at midwicket.
Earlier, New Zealand added 28 runs in the remaining 23 balls of their innings to finish on 239-8 after rain had stopped play on Tuesday.
Ross Taylor, who resumed on 67 not out, top-scored with 74 after Williamson, who won the toss, had made a masterly 67 in awkward conditions for batting.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar finished with three for 43.
Meanwhile, Ravindra Jadeja, whose left-arm spin yielded an economical one for 34 in 10 overs on Tuesday, ran out Taylor and held a brilliant catch in the deep to dismiss Latham.
Wednesday's winners will face either hosts England or reigning champions Australia, in Sunday's final at Lord's.