Captain Kane Williamson led from the front with a superb century before his bowlers held their nerves in a close finish to help New Zealand edge past India by six runs in the second One-Day International in New Delhi, on Thursday.
The Black Caps levelled the five-match series 1-1 and in the process also won their first game of the tour.
India were all-out for 236 in 49.3 overs after Williamson's fluent innings of 118 had guided New Zealand to 242 for nine afte they were put into bat at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
It is also after 11 long years that India have lost an ODI at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Hardik Pandya (36) and Umesh Yadav (18) tried their best with a 49-run stand for the ninth wicket but Pandya’s dismissal in the penultimate over ended India's hopes with Tim Southee cleaning up Jasprit Bumrah in the final over with a perfect yorker.
None of the Indian batsmen managed to cross the 50-run mark, with Kedar Jadhav top scoring with a quickfire 41 from 37 balls, while Pandya stroked 36 from 32 balls.
Virat Kohli failed to live up to expectations on his home ground, caught down the leg side off Mitchell Santner for nine, while captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni played a painful innings of 39 from 65 balls.
Tim Southee ended Dhoni’s misery with a stunning one handed return catch on his follow through, in the 40th over after he had added 66 for the fifth wicket with Jadhav to keep India afloat.
Infact, Jadhav's dismissal in the 32nd over affected India badly. He tried to steer a fuller delivery from Henry to be caught behind, leaving his team on 139 for five, with the new batsmen finding it difficult to get going.
Axar Patel (17) and Amit Mishra (1) were dismissed in a single over bowled by part-time off-spinner Martin Guptill.
Williamson hit a fluent 118 off 128 balls, laced with 14 boundaries and a six, but the rest of the New Zealand batting line-up, except for Tom Latham (46), failed to provide their skipper any support.
The innings went haywire at the end for the Kiwis, who managed just 40 runs in the last 10 overs while losing six wickets in the process.
While Amit Mishra (3-60) picked up the important wicket of Williamson, it was Jasprit Bumrah (3-35) whose bowling was a revelation in the death overs.
Umesh Yadav gave India the perfect start with the wicket of Martin Guptill in the first over of the innings as the right-hander was bowled for a duck.
However, Williamson looked confident from the outset as he timed his shots to perfection. He had an able ally in Latham and they put on 120 runs for the second wicket in 20 overs at a fair clip.
Williamson started by whipping Yadav to midwicket followed by a cover drive and a flick off Hardik Pandya. The Kiwi captain pulled a short ball from Bumrah and a deliberate slash over slips to collect a couple of more boundaries to rally his team after the early wicket.
When left-arm spinner Axar Patel was introduced into the attack, his short ball was promptly dispatched to the midwicket boundary and then the skipper came down the track to loft him over long-on.
Left-hander Latham was more partial to cover drives while he slog swept Mishra for a big six.
It was part-time spinner Kedar Jadhav, who got the breakthrough with the wicket of Latham, who was dismissed leg before wicket for run-a-ball 46, comprising of six boundaries and a six.
Ross Taylor (21) looked out of sorts during his 42-ball stay at the wicket before trying to heave Mishra on the leg side only to be caught by Rohit Sharma at deep midwicket.
Williamson continued to bat confidently as he hooked Pandya to take his score into the 80s before slowed down a bit during this phase when Corey Anderson (21) joined him.
A cover drive off Bumrah for two runs helped him complete his eighth ODI century, his first against India, from 109 deliveries.
Williamson lost Anderson after a 46-run stand as Mishra picked up his second wicket, trapping him leg before wicket.
The New Zealand skipper was finally out on 118 when he tried to up the ante, hitting Mishra down the ground but was caught by Rahane at long-off.
In the final few overs, the New Zealand innings lost momentum and lost wickets in plenty.
Anton Devcich (7) was brilliantly caught by Axar at short fine leg off Bumrah before the young pacer cleaned up Tim Southee and Matt Henry with perfect yorkers.