India had already beaten Australia and Bangladesh, meaning they qualify for the knockouts with a game to spare. Sixteen-year-old opener Shafali Verma flew out the blocks with three sixes in her 46 that, despite a middle-order wobble, took India to 133 for eight.
New Zealand would expect to chase such a total, but lost their powerful top three with the score just 34 and never fully recovered.
Amelia Kerr, 19, made 34 not out from 19 balls, but New Zealand fell short by three runs.
If the Kiwis beat Bangladesh on Saturday, they will have what effectively amounts to a quarter-final against Australia on Monday.
Holders, hosts and favourites Australia are starting to show some ominous form. They smashed 189 for one against Bangladesh this morning, the tournament’s highest score.